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Michael Jackson Verdict: Family Loses, AEG Live Not Liable in Singer's Death

Michael Jackson,This Is It Sony Pictures

AEG Live was not liable in the 2009 death of Michael Jackson.

So determined the six-man, six-woman jury who decided in favor of the concert promoter today.

Katherine Jackson had alleged that AEG Live contributed to her son's 2009 death by negligently hiring Dr. Conrad Murray to oversee his medical care without properly vetting the doctor or paying concern to signs that her 50-year-old son's health was in decline.

The jury determined that AEG did hire Murray, but that the doctor was not unfit or incompetent to perform the services asked of him. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 for administering the dose of the anesthetic propofol that ultimately killed Jackson.

PHOTOS: A who's who of Jackson family members

Katherine was present for the reading of the verdict.

The jury started deliberations on Thursday after nearly five months of testimony from dozens of witnesses, including Jackson's mother; his son Prince; daughter Paris (via video deposition); and ex-wife Deborah Rowe.

On Friday, the jurors requested a dozen copies of the contract that AEG gave Murray (which, when Jackson died, had only been signed by Murray so far); a copy of the 2009 documentary This Is It, which was compiled from interviews and footage of the rehearsals for Jackson's ill-fated London engagement; and a DVD player.

The Jackson family's legal camp had argued that the star was poised to earn upward of $1 billion from the planned 50-date This Is It engagement at London's O2 arena being put on by AEG.

"The jury's decision completely vindicates AEG Live, confirming what we have known from the start—that although Michael Jackson's death was a terrible tragedy, it was not a tragedy of AEG Live's making," said the defendant's lead attorney, Marvin Putnam, after the verdict was read.

"There was simply no evidence that anyone at AEG did anything wrong," Putnam said. "The win was a great victory for [AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips] in particular, who was personally sued by the Jacksons."

Phillips and executive Paul Gongaware were dismissed as defendants in the case in early September, leaving the company itself as the sole defendant.

"I counted Michael Jackson a creative partner and a friend," Phillips said in a statement.  "We lost one of the world's greatest musical geniuses, but I am relieved and deeply grateful that the jury recognized that neither I, nor anyone else at AEG Live, played any part in Michael's tragic death."

A rep for the family said that neither Katherine or Joe Jackson would be immediately commenting.

"Thank you guys for all your support. Unfortunately there will be no closure for my family #bigmoneywinsagain AEG," tweeted Taj Jackson, the son of Michael's brother Tito who was appointed coguardian of Michael's children earlier this year.

—Additional reporting by Claudia Rosenbaum

PHOTOS: Michael Jackson's life in pictures

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