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Jackson medic spared damages claims

Prosecutors will not seek restitution against the doctor convicted of killing Michael Jackson after conferring with the singer's parents and lawyers for his estate and children.

The request for payments from Conrad Murray was withdrawn during a brief court hearing, just days before a judge was due to consider how much the former cardiologist should pay to members of Jackson's family or his estate.

Deputy district attorney David Walgren told the judge handling the case that he was withdrawing the restitution request after speaking with Jackson's mother Katherine, and a lawyer for his father Joseph.

Mr Walgren also consulted a lawyer for the singer's estate and a court-appointed lawyer representing the interests of Jackson's three children, a transcript of the proceedings shows.

Murray remains in jail after being convicted in November of involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to serve four years, but his term will be halved due to overcrowding and California's budget crunch.

Jackson's estate estimated the singer would have earned at least 100 million dollars (£64.9 million) if he had performed his This Is It concerts planned for London's O2 arena. Murray might have also been found liable for Jackson's funeral expenses, which totalled more than 1.8 million dollars (£1.1 million).

Murray's lawyers said he had nowhere near the money to pay either amount and he filed paperwork last month indicating he was indigent.

Superior Court judge Michael Pastor ruled that the family was waiving its right to restitution permanently, although two separate cases pending in a Los Angeles civil court seek damages for the King of Pop's June 2009 death.

Katherine Jackson is suing concert giant AEG Live, which was promoting Jackson's planned series of comeback concerts, claiming they failed to properly supervise Murray. Joseph Jackson is suing AEG Live, alleging negligence by the entertainment promoter in his son's death, and he is suing Murray for wrongful death in the case.

Murray's lawyer, Michael Flanagan, said he was pleased to have the restitution issue resolved. Mr Flanagan said he intended to seek bail for Murray while he appealed against his conviction, according to the transcript, but he was told to put the request in writing.


From Belfast Telegraph