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News summary of week 10 at the AEG trial. Dr.SCHNOLL, President KENNEDY and MICHAEL JACKSON

July 8, 2013

Here are the ABC7 Court News tweets for three days on week 10 of the AEG trial. There was no court on Thursday and Friday.

Each day had crucial information. The summary also includes quotes from the testimony of a drug-addiction specialist Dr. Schnoll, the plaintiffs’ witness. Those who don’t want any of it may scroll down and read the several paragraphs of the summary for week 10 made for them by the Associated Press.

But for the rest of us here is the full story: 

Monday July 1, DAY 41

All I can say about the Human Resources consultant Jean Seawright is that now we know why AEG hurriedly fired their Human Resources chief just prior to the trial. Their HR chief would have had a very hard time explaining things which were made simple and easy by Jean Seawright:

  • independent contractors can do the same damage as employees of the company, so both should be thoroughly checked (AEG claims they check only their employees and for the show they hire whoever comes their way)
  • four types of background checks should have been made on Murray, costing  $5-25 , however there is no evidence AEG checked up even his medical licence
  • the idea of a credit check is not to see whether there is or isn’t a debt – it’s the fact that a person is in default of the debt and hasn’t met his obligations which is important. Jean Seawright didn’t even do the remaining three checks as Murray’s credit history was already enough to deny him employment. Great point!

But at the last moment AEG’s attorney Jessica Bina pulled out a discrimination card and said that the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission says a credit check is a discrimination policy. Panish fought like a lion to make it clear to everyone that it is not a law, but just a guideline and Bina’s statement should be stricken out. The judge was in doubt.

Bina also said that it was a “mistake” to word in Murray’s contract that he was to perform the services requested by the Producer. The HR specialist answered that several higly qualified people reviewed it and left it in the final variant. To this I can add that Kathie Jorrie at Murray’s trial said Murray asked to replace “Producer” by “Artist”, but AEG did not.

So if it was a mistake it was an intentional one.

Monday July 1 DAY 41

1

Hello from the courthouse in downtown LA. Day 41 of Jackson family vs AEG trial underway. Plaintiffs called a new witness on the stand.

2

Jackson’s attorney, Brian Panish, is questioning Jean Seawright, a Human Resources consultant.

3

She has her own company, helps clients find, hire, train, compensate, terminate workers; basically the entire life cycle of an employment.

4

Seawright said human resources relates to the people and the workers in a business.

5

She has clients in various line of businesses: pest control, law firms, restaurants, car dealerships, hospitals, etc.

6

Seawright has BS in Chemistry, has consulted in the field of HR for 25 years, advising owners and managers of human resources practices.

7

Seawright said there are several types of background check, including driving, criminal, credit and social security check.

8

Seawright has testified in approximately 16 cases. Being an expert witness composes about 10% of her company’s revenue.

9

She charges $300/hour and has works a little over 100 hours in this case, Seawright testified.

10

Seawright has never works in the music or show producing industry, but said that she’s qualified to testify since HR principles are the same

11

She said her goal is to hire workers who are fit for the position and who are not going to put themselves or others at risk.

12

Seawright said she doesn’t differentiate independent contractors and company employees, since it’s just a classification/label of a worker.

13

The same risks exist, regardless of the label, Seawright explained.

14

You can’t manage what you don’t know, Seawright said.

15

It’s important to understand what the history of what an individual is before hiring them, Seawright explained.

16

She said that knowing the background of workers diminish the risks of the hiring.

17

Depending on the reports, the cost can be as low as $5, background check from $10-15, $25 with other fees, Seawright testified.

18

Seawright explained smart hiring process, which can minimize the risks and hire a competent and fit employee.

19

Panish asked assuming Paul Gongaware knew MJ had prescription drug issues, would that knowledge be critical in hiring a doctor for MJ?

20

Yes indeed, it would elevate the risk even higher, Seawright answered.

21

Seawright: The organization knows the potential to harm the artist, they have information about the parties, which would elevate the risk.

22

I’d recommend criminal background check, credit and motor vehicle check and a social security verification on Dr. Murray, Seawright said.

23

Dr. Murray was in position of administering medical care but was paid by company that had the ability to stop the tour, Seawright said.

24

Had that happened, Dr. Murray would not be able to continue to work, he was in a conflict of interest, Seawright continued.

25

She said she saw no evidence of AEG conducting checks on Dr. Murray.

26

Panish showed a chart of AEG’s process to check out people, which separates employees from independent contractors.

27

Seawright said there are risks involving employees who are not necessarily dealing with money.

28

The expert said that looking at someone’s professional license is not enough to qualify a potential worker.

29

Seawright went through all the procedures AEG has in place to hire independent contractors and said most of their process only protects AEG.

30

Seawright said the label of the employee doesn’t change the fact that the company is responsible for the hiring of fit and competent person

31

Panish: Could independent contractors cause the same damage as employees?

32

Seawright: Yes

33

Seawright said background checking minimizes the risk of hiring someone.

34

Seawright opined that just including in the contract that Dr. Murray needed to be licensed is not sufficient to determine his competency.

35

I did not see any evidence in my review of documents and testimony, Seawright said about AEG checking Dr. Murray’s medical license.

36

You can’t just always take people’s word Seawright explained, saying that until you check their credentials you don’t know if they are fit

37

Panish: Did you see anything that qualified Dr. Murray as extremely successful?

38

Seawright: I saw nothing that was done to determine that

39

Seawright talked about Phillips’ email where he said Dr. Murray was extremely successful and didn’t need the gig.

40

She said Phillips acknowledged what the criteria was, that they needed someone ethical and unbiased.

41

Seawright said entertainment companies are not different from others, HR is practice across businesses lines to find fit, competent workers

42

No matter what business you are, you need to follow HR protocols, Seawright said.

43

The email is a recognition by Mr. Phillips to hire someone who doesn’t need the gig, Seawright opined.

44

The expert explained the credit check is used to determine whether or not the person met all his/her obligations, if there had any default.

45

Seawright explained the problem is not the debt at all, it’s the fact you are in default of the debt, that you haven’t met your obligations.

46

She said credit checks are inexpensive, cost between $5-8 and takes about 5 minutes to get the report.

47

As to Dr. Murray, Seawright said AEG should have done, at minimum, a credit check.

48

MJ was just a referral of Dr. Murray, Seawright said, and AEG should’ve done further investigations on him.

49

Seawright said Dr. Murray was going to be in MJ’s house, would have exposure to confidential information, so he needed to be checked out.

50

Moreover, Dr. Murray would be providing medical care to MJ, and AEG should’ve checked him out, the expert opined.

51

To get a credit report, you have to have the individual’s consent, Seawright said.

52

Court is now in recess for lunch. Testimony should resume within one hour.

53

After lunch, Seawright resumed her testimony.

54

Katherine Jackson is not present in court today.

55

The expert analyzed an email from outside counsel Kathy Jorrie to Phillips recommending background check on Dr. Tohme.

56

During deposition, AEG’s attorney Jessica Bina showed study where out of 158 employers 3 % indicated they did credit check in healthcare.

57

Another part of the survey related to employees working at people’s homes, in which 30% employers conduct credit checks, Seawright testified

58

Panish: Could AEG have done a background check on Dr. Murray?

59

Seawright: There’s no question they could’ve done that, if they wanted to

60

Being in debt is just having debt, Seawright explained. “But default is not paying the debts.”

61

Dr. Murray had three different social security numbers in his credit report, according to LAPD Detective Orlando Martinez.

62

Seawright said AEG could’ve run Dr. Murray’s background and would’ve gotten the same information Det. Martinez received.

63

Panish: Do you know any special rules that apply to AEG Live?

64

Seawright: No

65

Nothing further from plaintiff.

66

AEG’s attorney Jessica Stebbins Bina did cross examination.

67

Bina asked if all the opinions Seawright offered are based on the assumption that AEG, not MJ, hired Dr. Murray. She said yes.

68

Seawright said she did not analyze the info assuming Michael Jackson hired Dr. Murray.

69

Judge told the jurors that ultimately they are the ones who are going to decide who hired Dr. Murray.

70

Seawright Associates has four employees currently.

71

Seawright said she has no idea if plaintiffs checked her background, but that she did not sign a release to check her credit.

72

Seawright said she never ran her doctors’ background. She has not worked with concert promoters or the music industry.

73

The expert said this is the 1st case where a person’s credit history is major issue. The other cases involved criminal history and behavior

74

The expert said there’s no precise definition for independent contractor; there may be characteristics, but not a definition.

75

Seawright: It’s important to be able to identify the best way to hire a worker, minimize the risk, determine if they are fit and competent

76

Some jurors had their eyes closed at this point. It was very dry testimony, some audience members were sleeping.

77

Most common background checks are criminal and reference checks, Seawright said.

78

Bina gave hypotheticals to explain independent contractor.

79

A company can be accused of discrimination if the criteria involved in the hiring uses discriminatory practices, Seawright said.

80

Outside the presence of the jury, there was a heated discussion about a document AEG showed to the jury.

81

Bina showed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) policy on credit check, saying it is a discriminatory practice.

82

Jackson’s atty Brian Panish argued vehemently that there was no foundation as to the date of the document and if it was in effect in 2009

83

Judge offered to take judicial notice of the document, but Panish said judge couldn’t legally do it.

84

Judge Yvette Palazuelos: is this is a regulation, rule, statute I can take judicial notice?

85

Bina claimed the document, printed out of the website, is a policy and judge should be able to take judicial notice. She will look further.

86

Panish: That was complete error for it to be shown, it should be stricken and jury should be admonished. It was also judicial error as well

87

The court should not allow that, plaintiff has been prejudiced by the misconduct of defendants’ counsel, Panish told the judge.

88

Judge read the document and noted it says “generally should be avoided”, and it doesn’t says it is prohibited.

89

It doesn’t exactly say what you said, judge told Bina.

90

Here’s the text of the policy. Let us know what you think it says: is it prohibited, based on this policy, to conduct credit check?

91

Document: Inquiry into an applicant’s current or past assets, liabilities, or Pre-Employment Inquiries and Credit Rating or Economic Status

92

Doc cont’d: credit rating, including bankruptcy or garnishment, refusal or cancellation of bonding, car ownership, rental or ownership of a

93

Doc cont’d: house, length of residence at an address, charge accounts, furniture ownership, or bank accounts generally should be avoided

94

Doc cont’d: because they tend to impact more adversely on minorities and females. Exceptions exist if the employer can show that such information is essential to the particular job in question.

95

Panish said the document is not a rule, regulation or policy and asked judge to admonish the jury to disregard it.

96

Panish said it’s misleading, inappropriate, should not be presented to the jury and it’s unduly prejudicial to the plaintiffs.

97

Bina argued she thinks it’s clearly admissible, doesn’t think it’s appropriate to instruct jury now.

98

I do not believe there’s any error in showing this document to the jury, Bina said.

99

You, improperly, took judicial notice over my objection and I’m requesting to admonish the jury now, Panish requested Judge Palazuelos.

100

Judge: if it turns out judicial notice was improper but admissible in other ground, it may be difficult to explain to the jury.

101

Judge wants to make sure they get to the bottom of it, whether it is admissible or not, before instructing the jury one way or another.

102

Here’s the definition of judicial notice. Let us know if you think judge made mistake: Judicial notice is a rule in the law of evidence that allows a fact to be introduced into evidence if the truth of that fact is so notorious or well known, or so authoritatively attested that it cannot reasonably be doubted. This is done upon the request of the party seeking to rely on the fact at issue. Facts & materials admitted under judicial notice are accepted without being formally introduced by witness or other rule of evidence and they are even admitted if one party wishes to lead evidence to the contrary.

103

Bina resumed cross examination, jury back in the courtroom.

104

Bina: Dr. Murray had a medical license, right?

105

Seawright: My understanding, yes

106

Seawright said that once she checked Dr. Murray’s credit check it made him ineligible for employment, thus she didn’t investigate further.

107

There was no need to, Seawright said, explaining the fact that Dr. Murray failed the credit history was sufficient to deny him employment

108

Regarding Dr. Murray’s contract “4.1 Perform the Services reasonably by Producer” Bina said it was an error and Producer should read Artist.

109

Seawright said she saw contradicting testimony, several well-qualified people reviewed the contract and it wasn’t changed in final version.

110

Judge adjourned court for the day. Jurors ordered back tomorrow at 10:00 am PT. Seawright to be on the stand again.

111

Dr. Sidney Schnoll, addiction specialist, is also scheduled for tomorrow. He will talk about MJ’s prescription drug dependency

112

The plan is to have Taj Jackson back on Wednesday. There’s no trial on Thursday and Friday due to the holiday.

113

We hope to see you tomorrow for day 42 of trial. Check all the latest on @ABC7 and http://www.abc7.com

ABC News noticed that Bina and Panish were debating race and that the debate sent off fireworks:

Michael Jackson wrongful death trial: Attorneys debate race, EEOC

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Miriam Hernandez 

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — In the Michael Jackson negligence lawsuit, an issue of race entered the courtroom and sent off fireworks between the attorneys on Tuesday.

It happened as Jean Seawright, a human resources expert, testified in support of Katherine Jackson’s claim against concert promoter AEG Live.

Seawright stated that if AEG hired Jacksons’s doctor, Conrad Murray, AEG should have conducted a credit check on him. The defense challenged her. Attorney Jessica Stebbins Bina asked whether a credit check might violate federal law.

She cited a statement from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, that says inquiries about an applicant’s credit rating, charge accounts or bank accounts generally should be avoided because they tend to impact more adversely on minorities and females. A debate erupted.

Outside the presence of the jury, attorney Brian Panish for the plaintiffs, said, “She said it is law. This was not a law. The jury is going to be confused.”

At least nine jurors are women or members of a minority group.

Another Jackson attorney chimed in, saying, “It is a sensitive point given that many members of the jury are of a protected class.”

The judge responded, telling jurors that the EEOC statement was a guideline, not a law or policy.

The plaintiffs allege that Murray, hired for Jackson’s tour, needed money so badly he agreed to Jackson’s request for propofol, a substance that caused Jackson’s death.

The defense presented a survey conducted by human resources managers that showed 40 percent of the organizations polled did not conduct credit checks.

The plaintiffs fired back: Did Seawright view any evidence that AEG avoided checking Murray’s credit history because it might be discriminatory?

Seawright’s answer: No.

On Wednesday, an addiction specialist takes the stand.

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/entertainment&id=9159956

Tuesday, July 2, DAY 42

The second day started with a debate of the race issue again, in connection with the same document. Finally the judge explained to the jury that the paper produced by AEG was not a regulation.

Then AEG made a big fuss over the statement of the HR specialist that in her opininion AEG hired Murray. It turns out that experts are not allowed to say definite things like that and it is only the jury who can decide whether AEG hired Murray or not. This time the judge  lectured Brian Panish and said that the words of the expert should be stricken out, or otherwise it may result in a mistrial. Panish said he had instructed the expert not to express her opinion (so if she said it she just couldn’t resist telling the truth) .

In the remaining testimony of the HR expert the following exchange impressed me most: Jean Seawright said that background checks were necessary not to put the customer at risk, and Bina retorted that Murray was not placed in charge of AEG’s business but was placed in charge of the artist.

So if it had been their business they would have checked, but since it was the artist they didn’t care…

Dr. Sidney Schnoll was the next Plaintiff’s witness. He is a fantastic addiction medicine specialist as well as an expert in pharmacology, neurology and psychiatry, whose credentials alone take the first 15 pages of his typed testimony. Let me only say that he advises all major drug companies in the US on the effects of Opiates and Opioids, is on editorial board of all major learned journals in the field and has written 40 chapters of textbooks.

His surpeme knowledge tells on the way he explains things. It was a great lecture on the difference between drug dependency and drug addiction. If you haven’t guessed yet Michael Jackson was not an addict, but was dependent on drugs due to his two severe underlying conditions – pain and insomnia.

Dr. Schnoll says that in case the underlying condition of patients cannot be treated they have to stay on painkillers or other medication their whole life and there is nothing inappropriate about it. Dr. Schnoll testified on Tuesday and Wednesday:

Tuesday July 2 DAY 42

114

HR consultant Jean Seawright resumed testimony. Katherine Jackson is present in court wearing long white jacket with green oval spots on it.

115

Outside presence of the jury, attys/judge discussed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) document shown to jurors yesterday.

116

Panish: They don’t consider credit checks to be a prohibited practice at all. This is a lawyer making misleading statements, hearsay.

117

Panish: She says “it is a law,” it is an official policy. It is not an official policy. It is a guideline at the most.

118

Panish said EEOC guidelines are not controlling law. “This is not a law. If the court is confused, the jury is going to be confused.”

119

It is a guideline that has been revoked in a court case, Panish told the judge.

120

Bina said it was DMV photos that were assessed in that case, not EEOC policy that failed in that case.

121

Panish raised his voice, said AEG never claimed this (credit check may be discrimination,) it has never been raised before.

122

You yourself were misled, your honor, over my objections, Panish said.

123

Bina said she plans to say credit checks are controversial, must be job related. Companies might use care in using credit checks.

124

Panish: Trell never mentioned an EEOC concern. This is not a law or regulation. The document wasn’t raised in deposition with Seawright.

125

Judge told the attorneys to put their heads together and she will read an explanation to the jury.

126

Seawright took the witness stand at 11:04 am PT, jury seated immediately after that.

127

Judge told jurors that yesterday there were references made to an EEOC document. It was not a regulation, but rather a guide.

128

Judge said the document had not been admitted into evidence. Jurors nodded, indicating they understood the explanation.

129

Bina asked if Seawright was familiar with that EEOC guideline. She said yes, it provides guidance.

130

Seawright explained that Title 7 says that an employer cannot discriminate.

131

Bina: Are there studies that show relationship between debt and  manslaughter?

132

Seawright: Not that I am aware of

133

Bina: Are there studies that show relationship between debt and malpractice?

134

Seawright: Not that I am aware of

135

Bina asked if Seawright knows Dr. Murray’s history of treating patients, and he had no record of harming patients.

136

Seawright explained she examined his financial history only, and once he failed that she didn’t see need to go any further.

137

Seawright said that, based on Dr. Murray’s credit history, he was 180 days behind in his mortgage.

138

Bina asked why background checks are necessary. Seawright said it was because you are putting customers at risk.

139

Dr. Murray wasn’t being placed in charge of AEG business, Bina argued, saying he was in charge of the artist.

140

Seawright explained his responsibility was Mr. Jackson’s health during the tour.

141

Bina: Does that fact that MJ had a long term relationship with Dr. Murray weigh in your analysis at all?

142

Seawright: No, there’s no bearing

143

Bina: If a contractor had been with hundreds of tours would that person have to be background checked?

144

Seawright: It depends on the position

145

Seawright said you might have some historical knowledge of how the person performed but need to see if there were problems.

146

If time has passed since you last hired someone, Seawright said you need to go back and check again, it’s a rehiring; whole new period.

147

Bina: Lets say MJ had engaged Dr. Murray for 3 years and was going to continue. At that point, would MJ have to do background check?

148

Seawright: I can’t give an answer without evaluating the circumstances

149

Bina asked if it’s ever appropriate to have different processes for different positions. Seawright said it depends on different risk factors

150

Bina: Is it ever appropriate to have some policies for employees and others for independent contractors?

151

Seawright: The label doesn’t make a difference

152

Bina inquired Seawright extensively about several surveys that she relied upon while writing opinions in other cases.

153

Bina inquired Seawright about expert opinions she issued in other cases.

154

Katherine Jackson also present in court for afternoon’s session.

155

When hiring someone, we have to look at the potential harm to him/herself, to others, to customers, Seawright explained.

156

For every job, you have to evaluate all of the risks associated with it, Seawright said. There are risks in every employment.

157

Seawright considered Dr. Murray’s position to be high-risk and safety-sensitive.

158

She explained Dr. Murray would be working at MJ’s home, in and around his family, with access to confidential information.

159

Seawright said the risk was elevated since Paul Gongaware was aware of MJ’s past use of drugs and alcohol during tours.

160

The expert said she read about Gongaware’s knowledge of MJ’s drug use in his deposition and Dr. Finkelstein also mentioned it.

161

Employers have the right to conduct background check, Seawright said. But she noted their practices cannot be discriminatory.

162

Bina: Would the company be exposing itself to risk if you do background check?

163

Seawright: Not necessarily

164

Indemnification provision in a contract is not checking out a worker, Seawright testified.

165

Bina argued that if the company is taking responsibility for Dr. Murray’s conduct, with indemnification, it offers protection.

166

Seawright said it protects the company, it protects AEG.

167

Bina: Do you see anything in the policy for hiring Independent contractors that AEG didn’t follow with Dr. Murray?

168

Seawright and Bina went through the check list for independent contractors hired by AEG.

169

AEG’s practice for Independent Contractors:

170

*Required licenses or permits – Seawright said yes

171

*Known to the artist – Seawright said yes

172

*Obligation laid out in the contract – Seawright said yes

173

*Indemnification Provision- Seawright said yes

174

*Fully insured – Seawright said yes

175

It was called final, Seawright said about Dr. Murray’s agreement.

176

Panish asked in re-direct about EEOC policy again. He said Bina brought it up improperly in front of the jury. Judge sustained objection.

177

Panish asked Seawright what her understanding is why employers check credit of potential employees.

178

Seawright: They check the credit because they are very concerned that financial stress can compromise people’s ethical judgment and behavior

179

Multiple branches of our government do credit checks on employees to make sure they are not at risk for unethical decisions, Seawright said.

180

The debt is not an issue at all, it’s the delinquent debt they are concerned about, Seawright said.

181

Panish asked if Seawright saw anywhere in this case AEG saying they didn’t conduct credit check on Murray because it could be discrimination

182

I’ve never heard that at all in all the documents I read, Seawright responded.

183

Panish asked if Seawright could rely in a survey conducted with small percentage of businesses to determine if credit check should be done.

184

Seawright responded she would not rely on that survey to determine the necessity of credit checks in the healthcare field.

185

I believe AEG Live hired Dr. Murray, Seawright said. Defendant’s attorney objected to the response and judge sustained it.

186

Judge: That’s because it is your duty, your responsibility to say whether Dr Murray was hired. It’s not up to the experts to determine that

187

Seawright said that Dr. Murray asking for $5 million initially raised questions in her mind why he would be requesting that much.

188

Panish asked if AEG Live were Seawright’s client in 2009 and said they wanted to hire Dr. Murray what she would’ve said.

189

Seawright: I would’ve said absolutely no, because of the risks associated with the position and the potential for conflict of interest

190

If they insisted, I would’ve recommended a comprehensive vetting process, with credit and background check, Seawright said.

191

Bina in re-cross asked if Seawright was aware legislators expressed concern in 09 of unduly use of credit checks. She said she was not aware

192

Panish: Was EEOC checking credit of people?

193

Seawright: My understanding they were

194

RE-RE-DIRECT

195

Financial distress can impact their ability to make ethical decision, that’s the reason that EEOC does it, Seawright said.

196

Panish asked if Seawright would recommend background check for a high-risk, safety-sensitive job?

197

Seawright: I do

198

Panish: In your opinion, AEG acted inappropriately for not doing that?

199

Seawright: Yes

200

Seawright said AEG did not do any check on Dr Murray.

201

Seawright was excused.

202

Plaintiffs call next witness, Dr. Sidney Schnoll. Michael Koskoff, attorney for Jackson’s, doing direct examination.

203

Dr. Schnoll resides in Connecticut, born in New Jersey. He graduated in medical school on 1967. He described his extensive background.

204

Addiction Medicine is the study of the problems of addiction, Dr. Schnoll said. “It is a very broad area.”

205

Dr. Schnoll reviewed medical records, depositions and transcripts in this case. He was also deposed.

206

Dr. Schnoll: Drug dependence is the pharmacological affect of the drug.

207

You take it continuously and suddenly stop it, you go into withdrawal Dr. Schnoll said. “If you continue to take it you develop tolerance”

208

Tolerance is when there’s a need to take more of the drug for it to take effect, Dr. Schnoll explained.

209

Dr. Schnoll: When you take certain drugs and suddenly stop you go into withdrawal syndrome, which is usually the opposite effect of the drug

210

Koskoff: Can people who are taking proper treatment become drug dependent?

211

Dr. Schnoll: Yes

212

If the patient is properly prescribed and monitored, Dr. Schnoll said they can have normal life.

213

Koskoff: Can withdrawal from drugs sometimes be difficult, even for non-drug dependents?

214

Dr. Schnoll: Yes

215

Dr. Schnoll: Addiction is a chronic disease that’s characterized by craving, compulsive use of a drug, continued despite evidence of harm

216

Primary factor is usually genetics, Dr. Schnoll said about addicts.

217

Dr. Schnoll: One person exhibits addicted behavior in relation to the drug, the other is seeking the drug to treat underlying condition

218

Dr. Schnoll said there’s a difference between being addicted and dependent on drugs. Dependents look for drugs, addicts want to get high

219

To determine if a patient is dependent or addicted, Dr. Schnoll said it is necessary to look at that person’s behavior while using the drug.

220

Usually doctor look at 0-10 pain scale, you then adjust the amount of the drug to give them what’s enough to treat their pain.

221

Judge then adjourned session until tomorrow. Jury ordered back at 10 am PT. Dr. Schnoll supposed to last all day, attorneys said.

222

For complete coverage, watch @abc and go to http://www.abc7.com . We hope to see you all tomorrow!

Wednesday July 3, 2013. DAY 43

On this day Dr. Schnoll’s explained Michael’s real situation with drugs and not what tabloid myths say about it.

First of all from the initial dose Michael Jackson received from Klein in 2008 Dr. Schnoll concludes that Michael was not taking any opioids prior to that date because if he had been taking it he would have had a much higher tolerance to it and would have needed a much higher initial dose of Demerol.

Let me repeat.

The fact that the starting dose for Michael’s cosmetic procedures in 2008 was only 100mg of Demerol means that he  had not taken it in the years prior to that.

Here is an excerpt from Dr. Scholl’s testimony:

Q. So jumping ahead now to 2009 and the records that we were talking about with respect to Dr.Klein, based on your review of those and other records, you believe that Mr. Jackson was not dependent on any drugs in early 2009, correct? Like January 2009?

A. When he started to take Demerol again, because of the amount, the 100-milligram dose, I couldn’t see any evidence that he had any tolerance or anything that would indicate that he was dependent on an opioid.

Q. So you don’t think he was dependent in January 2009?

A. Not when he was starting, correct.

These articles explain the matter further:

Michael Jackson was not abusing pain medication in years leading up to comeback tour deal with AEG Live, says doctor

BY NANCY DILLON / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 2013, 6:22 PM

Michael Jackson was a patient who developed an opioid dependence because of legitimate pain related to his burned scalp, says his former doctor.

Michael Jackson apparently was clean and not abusing pain medication in the years leading up to his comeback tour deal with concert promoter AEG Live, a Connecticut doctor testified Wednesday.

Dr. Sidney Schnoll based his opinion on medical records stating the King of Pop only needed 100 milligrams of the narcotic pain medication Demerol to knock him out for a dermatology procedure in late 2008.

Schnoll said Jackson would have built up too much tolerance for that dose to work if he frequently abused opioids during the era of his 2005 molestation trial and subsequent travels abroad.

“He would have to take a much higher dose of Demerol to get the (necessary) effect for the surgery,” Schnoll told jurors.

The New Jersey-born doctor was acting as a paid expert witness for Jackson’s mother, Katherine.

Katherine Jackson, 83, is suing AEG Live for wrongful death, claiming the concert promoter negligently hired Dr. Conrad Murray as tour physician and set the stage for her son’s fatal 2009 overdose on the surgery-strength anesthetic propofol.

AEG vehemently denies any wrongdoing, saying Jackson personally hired Murray and begged for secret, bedroom-based infusions of the intravenous drug he called “milk.”

During his testimony, Schnoll said he didn’t believe Michael was an addict who craved and used drugs recreationally. Rather he was a patient who developed an opioid dependence because of legitimate pain related to his burned scalp.

He said plenty of celebrities have suffered opioid dependence, including President John F. Kennedy, who had debilitating back pain.

Schnoll said Jackson even got a Narcan implant in his abdomen in 2003 that steadily released Naltrexone, a drug that blocks the euphoric effects of opioids.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/jacko-abusing-pain-meds-comeback-tour-deal-doctor-article-1.1389683#ixzz2Y2fz9mDz

Michael Jackson wrongful death trial: Addiction specialist testifies

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Miriam Hernandez 

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — An addiction specialist took the stand Wednesday at the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial.

Dr. Sidney Schnoll painted a picture of the king of pop as a typical pain patient — that is, he says, until the entrance of Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray.

Schnoll reviewed 16 years of the artist’s available medical records, from the time in 1993 when Jackson announced his struggle with pain medication to the day he died.

The opinion of Schnoll is that the music icon was probably drug dependent. He testified there was not enough evidence to conclude that Jackson was an addict, a person who seeks a drug to get high.

Schnoll is testifying in support of Katherine Jackson’s lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live. The expert listed Jackson’s medical procedures, including scalp surgeries after pyrotechnics in a Pepsi commercial set his hair on fire.

Later, months before his death, Jackson was getting cosmetic treatments and dozens of shots of Demerol, an opioid pain medication.

Schnoll said Jackson’s available medical records showed that his treatments were legitimate and that Jackson never abused drugs.

That changed, he said, as Jackson prepared for his comeback tour. It was in the same period that Murray signed on to be Jackson’s personal physician. According to evidence in Murray’s criminal case, Murray provided infusions of the anesthetic propofol six nights a week for two months.

The plaintiffs say Jackson’s health was deteriorating. Schnoll says that when Jackson missed rehearsals in mid-June, he was showing symptoms typical of Demerol withdrawal, such as chills and runny nose. He said Murray failed to diagnose it.

Yet on cross-examination, Schnoll said the dates did not coincide with Jackson’s Demerol treatments. He said it was hard to say whether Jackson was dependent on Demerol at this time.

The plaintiffs said Jackson’s earnings could go into the billions of dollars. Schnoll said Jackson could have gone on to live a long and healthy life. Under defense questioning, he qualified his opinion, saying it depended on Jackson getting help for his dependency.

Katherine Jackson’s attorneys allege that AEG hired Murray and had a responsibility to monitor him. AEG says Jackson selected Murray and that AEG executives were not privy to Jackson’s medical care.

Meantime, outside the presence of the jury, the judge warned attorneys to heed her admonishment or they were headed for a mistrial.

The issue was raised because of a statement on Tuesday by a witness for the Jacksons. A human resources expert testified that in her opinion, AEG hired Murray. The judge says that is a determination for the jury and that the expert should not have been asked her opinion.

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/entertainment&id=9161332

Dr. Schnoll said that pain medications can be prescribed for life in case of an underlying health condition and amazed everyone including the judge by saying that even John F.Kennedy was opioid dependent due to his  severe back pain and this absolutely did not prevent him from fulfilling his duties as President of the US. In fact a person is prone to fulfil his duties better if he does not have to suffer from chronic paid.

Dr. Schnoll said:

Q. Now, are there people who can’t go off drugs because the underlying problem is persistent?

A. Yes.

Q. And what happens with those? For example, what if a person has chronic osteoarthritis, painful osteoarthritis?

A. They may remain on an opioid for the rest of their lives.

Q. What about chronic back pain?

A. They may have to do that, too, if it’s not treatable with other methods.

Q. Is there anything considered inappropriate, medically, about keeping a person on an opioid under medical supervision for life?

A. No.

Q. Is there any health ramifications of it? In other words, is there anything that hurts their body to be on an opioid under medical supervision for life?

A. No.

Q. Can people function when they are on opioid medications?

A. Yes.

Q. And they function as well as they could without taking opioid medications? Under some circumstances?

Ms. Cahan: Objection. Vague.

Judge: What was the question?

Mr. Koskoff: It says, under some circumstances, can people function as well on opioid medications as when they’re not on opioid medications?

Judge: Overruled.

Mr. Schnoll: If a person, say, as an underlying painful condition, and they take the opioid to treat that painful condition, in fact they might perform better under the opioid because it will have reduced the pain which could be causing problems for them.

Q. And does being on the opioid under proper competent and fit medical supervision, does that impair a person’s ability to function as a full-functioning human being?

A. No.

Q. Is there any famous people who have been opioid dependent over many years?

A. Yes.

Q. Give me an example.

A. John F. Kennedy.

Q. President Kennedy did?

A. Yes.

Q. And was he opioid dependent while he was President of the United States?A. Yes.

Judge: Can I ask why? What was his underlying condition?

Mr. Schnoll: He had very severe back pain.

Judge: Back pain? Okay.

Mr. Schnoll: Yeah.

Q. And was he under competent and fit medical supervision for that back pain?

A. Yes.

Well, if the President of the US could be legitimately dependent on opioids (after an accident I hear), there can be absolutely no question that Michael Jackson had the perfect right to be too  – due to the non-stop surgery on his scalp and his back injury after the bridge fall. Let us also add to it that MJ’s opioid dependency was limited in time, he wanted to get rid of it and he did.
Dr. Schnoll noted that since Michael went into treatment it means that he wanted to be free from drug dependence. In both cases the drug dependency started with a severe underlying condition – surgery on the scalp and then a back injury – and in both cases Michael wanted to be free from the resulting drug dependency:

Q. Now, you mentioned the time that Michael Jackson said that he had a drug problem and that he was going to go into treatment to get better; is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you have an opinion, first of all, as to whether he was a person who wanted to be a drug addict or not? Drug-dependent person or not?

A. Since he was going into treatment, I can only assume he did not want to be a drug-dependent person.

Q. And, in fact, when you talked about his motivation to go into dependence, he came out publicly and told the public in 1993 that he wanted to get better, didn’t he?

A. Yes, that’s correct.

Q. Does that mean anything in terms of a person’s ability to beat a drug habit?

A. That’s very — It’s — It’s really remarkable when somebody makes that kind of statement because it puts a lot of pressure on them.

Q. And did he — And he went and he did it and then there was — There was no evidence of drug use after that until he needed more medical treatment, isn’t that right?

A. Correct.

Q. And then, by the way, he had that fall — I think it was 1999 or 2000, that bad fall, and after that is when he began with Demerol use again, is that correct?

A. Yes, yes.

Q. And it was after that that he had the naltrexone implant and — And didn’t show any Demerol use for a long period of time, isn’t that correct?

A. Yes.

Out of 16 years Michael was free from Opioids for 13,5 years – this is the conclusion Dr. Schnoll came to after reviewing the medical records available to him. The same records were by the way reviewed by Dr. Earley testifying for AEG.

A sample of a tissue expander put unter the scalp of a victim of burn

A sample of a tissue expander put unter the scalp of a  burn victim. These patients are given opiate painkillers to relieve the pain. Otherwise the pain never stops and goes on  for months. A similar expander was placed under Michael Jackson’s scalp

Michael’s opioid dependency started with a burn and further surgery which brought about even more damage to his scalp. The damage was so awful that it is difficult even to read about it. It turns out that Michael had a contraction of skin in the burnt spot and to cut it out they inserted a balloon under his scalp. This we knew of and could imagine the pain of it.

But now we find out that there was another grave complication – they hit the nerve and a scar called neuroma formed on the nerve which gave Michael incessant pain which never stopped. Having a neuroma on a scalp is like having an open nerve which is excitable even at the touch of the wind.

Now I understand why he had to sleep in his hat (as Frank Dileo said). The back of the hat does not allow the head to touch the pillow and allows the painful spot to hang in the air.

1993 Israel, Dangerous tour. Now we know why he preferred to wear a hat - he was hiding his scars here.

1993 Israel, Dangerous tour. Now we know why he preferred to wear a hat – he was hiding his scars here and was trying to avoid the pain

And all this horror was taking place on the eve of the Dangerous tour, during and after it. And with all those post-operative scars on his head and the incessant pain Michael had to perform concerts!

Q. …going back into the ’80s — are you familiar with a significant injury that he suffered?

A. Well, he had the scalp injury, the burn. I think it was in a Pepsi commercial that he was filming.

Q. And following that, over the next several years, was there treatment and surgery for that burn?

A. Yes.

Q. And did he have narcotic drugs, opiate drugs in connection with those treatments?

A. Yes.

Q. Prior to the Dangerous tour, in the very beginning of it, did he have scalp surgery?

A. Yes.

Q. And what kind of surgery — tell the jury a little bit about what that surgery was for.

A. Well, that surgery was to repair the damage to his scalp. There was some contractions, and so they inserted a balloon under the scalp to stretch the scalp back to a normal configuration and remove the scar tissue.

Q. And did you — based on your review of the records, your knowledge of this condition, is this a painful condition?

A. Yes. And in addition, I think — I might not pronounce it properly — Dr. Sasaki reported he had neuroma formation at the time.

Q. Tell the jury what a neuroma is.

A. A neuroma is like a scar that forms on a nerve. When a nerve is damaged — just if your skin is cut,and you form a scar on your skin, if you have damage to a nerve, you can have a scar form, and that’s a neuroma. And that is excitable tissue, just like the nerves. And so it can be firing, just as the nerve does, but it fires in an abnormal way. And so that can be very painful and disconcerting to the person who has that neuroma. And it’s often sort of like a burning kind of pain. I guess the best example would be, I think most people have fallen asleep on their arm in a funny position, and you wake up and have that tingling and everything. Well, that’s what it can be like, but it’s persistent. It doesn’t go away.

This is what the severe pain from neuroma looks like - it is like a lightning suddenly striking the nerves. And this NEVER STOPS. (Source of animation: http://www.footdoc.ca/www.FootDoc.ca/Website%20Neuromas.htm)

The pain from neuroma is described as “a severe sudden jolt of electricity”. And it NEVER STOPS. (Source of animation: http://www.footdoc.ca/www.FootDoc.ca/Website%20Neuromas.htm)

And also it can be a sharp shooting kind of pain at the same time. So it’s very uncomfortable and one of the most difficult kinds of pain to treat.

Q. And there are Opioids — appropriate drugs to use to treat a neuroma, this type of pain?

A. They can be used for that, yes.

Q. And in Michael Jackson’s case, were they?

A. Yes.

Q. And, then, this is just prior to beginning the Dangerous tour; is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. And then they went on the Dangerous tour. And did you review the testimony of Dr. Finkelstein?

A. Yes.

Q. And doctor — and based on that testimony, did you have an opinion as to whether Michael Jacksonwas receiving opioid drugs during that period of time?

A. Yes.

Q. During the Dangerous tour?

A. Yes.

Q. And is it following that time that he went into — he publicly announced that he felt he had a problem with these drugs and wanted to become free of them?

A. Yes.

Dr. Schnoll also explained different types of drug-seeking behavior. It turns out that all of us are involved in this behavior, for example, when we go to a drug-store to buy a medicine for the flu or turn to a doctor for a medicine for our headache:

Q. And what is drug-seeking behavior? Suppose I have a headache, and I go to the doctor, and I say,”give me a drug.” is that drug-seeking behavior?

A. That could be drug-seeking behavior.

Q. Is that the kind of drug-seeking behavior that is an addict’s drug-seeking behavior?

A. No

Q. Okay. What is the difference?

A. If you’re seeking a drug to treat a legitimate medical problem, that’s drug-seeking behavior, but it’s not inappropriate and not part of addiction. However, if you’re seeking drugs outside of a medical need, that drug-seeking behavior is inappropriate and can be part of addiction.

Q. And in Michael Jackson’s case, was there evidence that Michael Jackson had Demerol for treatment of his back pain?

A. Yes.

Q. Is there evidence that he had — that he got Demerol for treatment of his scalp pain?

A. Yes.

Q. Is there evidence that he got treatment for his — for his dermatologic condition where he was being treated by a dermatologist to get ready for these tours?

A. Yes.

Q. And are all of those — the use of Demerol, can Demerol be an appropriate agent to use under those circumstances at that period of time?

A. Yes.

Q. Was there any evidence that you saw that he was engaged in that kind of drug-seeking behavior that you described?

A. Which type are you referring to?

Q. The addiction type of drug-seeking behavior.

A. No.

Dr. Schnoll explained that though the symptoms Michael displayed on June 19th 2009 looked like a withdrawal from Demerol, they were not from Demerol, because those symptoms did not coincide with the chart of Demerol injections from Dr. Klein’s records he reviewed:

Ms. Cahan: So there’s been some testimony that Mr. Jackson, on June 19th, 2009, was exhibiting some flu-like symptoms, was cold at a rehearsal, and was sent home. Are you — Have you seen any of that testimony?

A. Yes.

Q. Based on your review of Dr. Klein’s records, do you think that Mr. Jackson was in opiate withdrawal on June 19th?

Mr. Schnoll: ….I was very concerned about that. This was an issue that really concerned me because I — I wanted to look was he really dependent, wasn’t he. And that’s why I asked them to make this chart, to give me a picture of how much Demerol he was getting during the month of June, and how frequently he was getting it. And so if, in fact, at the very end, there was this withdrawal, we would have seen evidence of it because the appearance of withdrawal from Demerol usually shows up within 24 to 36 hours after the last dose. So the fact that there are these long periods of time, six, seven days, with no Demerol, without any description — In fact, one of the things I looked at, because I was concerned there were these descriptions, days when he was having the chills, where he had the blanket on, and such, and I was saying, hmm, that may be opioid withdrawal.

But it didn’t coincide with when I would have expected that withdrawal to occur, and we would have been able to see this, and I wasn’t seeing it. And so it was very hard for me to say that he was dependent at that time. That was — That was the issue.

Q. Counsel asked you about the symptoms that Michael Jackson was having in June of 2009 that you were worrying — You were wondering whether or not they were withdrawal or not?

A. Yes.

Q. And have you since seen — Have you since come to a conclusion as to what those actually were symptoms of?

A. Yes.

Q. What were they symptoms of?

A. Well, they were not symptoms that I could see from Demerol, but probably from his continued use of Propofol every night.

Q. So you don’t think the symptoms that people have testified Mr. Jackson was exhibiting on June19th are consistent with opiate withdrawal?

A. That’s correct.

Dr. Schnoll says that if a little  help had been rendered to Michael he could have lived a long and happy life. And this even in case they still kept him on pain-killer medications if he needed them due to his underlying conditions:

Q. So we talked a bit about your opinion that whether or not Mr. Jackson was dependent or addicted, you think he could have been gotten off drugs and then he would have been able to live a long, healthy life?

A. Yes. Well, wait a minute. Let me — I said if he was treated appropriately for his problem, not that he could have gotten totally off drugs. So I don’t want a misconception there, because he might have needed medication for some of his underlying medical problems. So I just want to —

Q. OK So it’s not clear to you whether Mr. Jackson, with appropriate medical treatment — Because there’s just not enough information about the underlying issues — Could have discontinued use of all medications and been OK?

A. That’s correct.

Q. So you said that somebody can be on — Properly controlled and supervised can be on Opioids or Opiates for their entire life and it wouldn’t affect their life expectancy if they’re taking them as expected?

A. Correct.

Q. What about Benzodiazepines? Is the same true?

A. The same.

Q. What about Propofol ?

A. There are no data on that.

Dr. Schnoll said a lot more, but since there is no space for it here please read the full transcript of his testimony as usual provided by the great TeamMichaelJackson: 

View this document on Scribd

Here is the short of Dr. Schnoll’s testimony from ABC7 Court News::

Wednesday July 3, DAY 43

223

Addiction specialist Dr. Sidney Schnoll resumed testimony. Jackson’s attorney Michael Koskoff did direct examination.

224

Katherine Jackson was present in court wearing a long periwinkle jacket and pearl earrings.

225

Koskoff asked if you take someone off Demorol suddenly what happens. Dr. Schnoll: “like falling off a cliff, you don’t want that to happen.”

226

Methodone is an opioid drug used for pain and treatment of opioid addiction. Dr. Schnoll explained how the drug works.

227

Dr. Schnoll said the most important factor in determining if the person should go off the drug is to find out what the underlying problem is

228

Koskoff: What if a person has chronic osteoarthritis?

229

Dr. Schnoll: May have remain on medication all his life

230

If a person has underlying condition and take opioid they could function better, Dr Schnoll explained. There’s no harm in doing it medically

231

Koskoff: Any famous people who have been opioid dependent?

232

Dr. Schnoll: President John F. Kennedy (Judge asks why?) Back pain.

233

Dr. Schnoll said addiction can also be treated by competent and fit physicians.

234

Koskoff: If a person is being treated, as part of good medical practice, can someone become drug dependent?

235

Dr. Schnoll: if they’re on long term opioid treatment, they’ll become dependent. Opioids are the most commonly prescribed drugs in the US.

236

Some patients become addicted, Dr. Schnoll said. But it’s not a large percentage.

237

Dr. Schnoll: The figures indicate 10 to 12% become addicted, the same percentage of people who become addicted to alcohol.

238

Dr. Schnoll explained pain threshold is the level at which someone feels discomfort. They are quite variable, he said.

239

“Opioids are most popular because they work,” Dr. Schnoll said. “Pain is the most common complaint that comes to a doctor’s office.”

240

Koskoff: Any evidence from any witness that MJ used Demerol outside the medical setting?

241

Dr. Schnoll: No

242

Koskoff: Was there a period of time when MJ used Demerol for scalp treatments?

243

Dr. Schnoll: Yes

244

Dr. Schnoll said he reviewed medical records that Dr. Farshian implanted a patch into MJ’s abdomen.

245

The patch was done for treatment of Demerol dependency in early 2000s. The drug would block the effect of the opioid, Dr. Schnoll said.

246

Koskoff said based on the medical records in the last 16 years of MJ’s life, he was Demerol free for 13 1/2 years.

247

Koskoff asked if that was consistent with a drug addict. Dr. Schnoll answered no.

248

Koskoff asked if Dr. Schnoll read testimony from Dr. Earley saying MJ was a drug addict and that he was going to die early.

249

Koskoff: Do you agree with that opinion?

250

Dr. Schnoll: No

251

Dr. Schnoll said he saw no evidence that MJ ever used recreational drug or self-injected in the absence of a doctor.

252

The expert said he saw evidence MJ was afraid of needles; didn’t take medications in excess of what was prescribed by doctors.

253

Dr. Schnoll talked about the surgery MJ to repair damage to his scalp.

254

Koskoff: On Dangerous tour, was MJ getting opioid drugs according to Dr. Finkelstein? 

255

Dr. Schnoll: Yes

256

Dr. Schnoll: I don’t know if MJ was an addict. I haven’t seen the information that would allow me to make a diagnosis of addiction

257

Koskoff: Was there a time MJ did take benzodiazepines?

258

Dr. Schnoll: Yes

259

Dr. Schnoll said MJ was prescribed Midazolam and Versed which is commonly for short term surgical procedures, dental procedures.

260

K: Did MJ have a sleep problem?

261

Dr: Yes

262

K: Is that appropriate?

263

Dr: Yes

264

Koskoff: Did he use it for sleep?

265

Dr. Schnoll: Yes

266

Dr. Schnoll treated patients addicted to Propofol. They were health technicians and none had it administered by another person.

267

Typically, they steal it from operating room or critical care unit or inject it in a home, or a bathroom, Dr. Schnoll explained.

268

Dr. Schnoll said after the Propofol infusion stops, the effect wears off quickly.

269

Propofol is the most popular anesthetic in the world, Dr. Schnoll said. Propofol is the generic term.

270

Koskoff showed a timeline and asked if there was any record MJ received Propofol during the Dangerous tour in 1994.

271

Dr. Schnoll testified Debbie Rowe said yes, but she wasn’t sure if it was Propofol or Fentanyl. He didn’t think Rowe was a licensed nurse.

272

Koskoff: What kind of specialist was on that tour for Michael?

273

Dr. Schnoll: He was anesthesiologist

274

Between 1994 and 1996, Dr. Schnoll saw no evidence of any use of Propofol by MJ under any circumstance.

275

The drug was used for dental procedures and cosmetic treatment, Dr. Schnoll said, adding it was appropriate for that.

276

Dr. Murray used Propofol for sleep, which Dr. Schnoll said was inappropriate. “Plus, he was not an anesthetic or an anesthesiologist.”

277

Koskoff asked if there was any evidence MJ was addicted or dependent of Propofol up until Dr. Murray. Dr. Schnoll said no.

278

Dr. Schnoll said Propofol is not appropriate to treat insomnia, even if MJ suggested it.

279

Dr. Schnoll talked about Dr. Klein giving MJ 100mg doses of Demerol in 2008. He said from mid-year to December it was the same amount.

280

Dose went up in January 2009. Dr Schnoll said if a person was previously dependent on Demerol, stops and then resumes, tolerance is built up

281

Koskoff: Is there a record MJ was getting Demerol from any other doctor?

282

Dr. Schnoll: No

283

The very last Demerol injection MJ received from Dr. Klein was on June 22, 100 mg dose, according to the records, Dr. Schnoll testified.

284

Dr. School said there was no trace of the drug in MJ’s body at the time of his death.

285

He also said this drug would not have had effect on MJ on June 25.

286

Koskoff: What does Demerol do to sleep?

287

Dr. Schnoll: When you are taking it, it could make you sleepy

288

If you are dependent, you could have some insomnia if you go off of it, Dr. Schnoll testified.

289

Sometimes prescription is given under other people’s names, Dr. Schnoll said, since celebrities often don’t want people prying their records

290

Dr. Schnoll said once Frank Sinatra went to the hospital he worked after collapsing on the stage.

291

The hospital computer overloaded with people trying to get information on what happened with Sinatra, Dr. Schnoll said.

292

Koskoff: Was Dr. Murray competent to handle MJ’s pain?

293

Dr. Schnoll: He was not competent

294

Koskoff: Was Dr. Murray competent to handle MJ’s drug dependency issues?

295

Dr. Schnoll: He was not competent

296

Koskoff: Was Dr. Murray competent to handle MJ’s sleep problems?

297

Dr. Schnoll: He was not competent

298

Koskoff: Assuming AEG hired Dr. Murray, was he fit and competent to treat Michael’s pain problems?

299

Dr. Schnoll: No, he was not

300

Koskoff: Assuming AEG hired Dr. Murray, was he fit and competent to treat Michael’s sleep problems?

301

Dr. Schnoll: No, he was not

302

Dr. Schnoll: Dr. Murray was an interventionist cardiologist and that is a highly specialized field. He had no background in treating pain.

303

They pass catheters and look at hearts, which is totally unrelated to pain, Dr. Schnoll said about cardiologists.

304

Koskoff asked if MJ were under the care of a competent doctor, would he have been able to get off the drugs, Demerol and benzodiazepines.

305

Dr. Schnoll: If his underlying medical condition, pain, insomnia, had been appropriately treated, he may have been able to get off the drugs

306

He would’ve been able to continue to perform if he was appropriately treated for the underlying medical conditions, Dr. Schnoll said.

307

Dr. Schnoll testified MJ had two major problems: pain and insomnia.

308

Dr. Schnoll: Should MJ have someone knowledgeable for treatment of pain, he could’ve been treated appropriately

309

Dr. Schnoll said if MJ were treated appropriately for pain and sleeping problems, it would not have an effect in shortening his life.

310

Koskoff: Assuming MJ was dependent, do you think proper treatment would be able to eliminate his dependency?

311

Dr. Schnoll: Yes

312

Koskoff: Let’s assume MJ really was addicted to Demerol in 2009, do you have an opinion as to his prognosis for successful treatment?

313

Dr. Schnoll: He could’ve been treated, he could’ve been treated if he had the proper people

314

Having a supportive family and environment is critical in overcoming addiction, Dr. Schnoll explained.

315

The autopsy said he was in really, very good condition, Dr. Schnoll told the jury about MJ.

316

Dr. Schnoll: Some of the best outcomes in treatment are with people who have a lot to lose if they continue their addiction.

317

Koskoff: Based on Mr. Jackson’s family, do you know if any members of his family were addicted?

318

Dr. Schnoll: I have no indication of that

319

Dr. Schnoll agreed MJ had the means to get proper drug dependency treatment.

320

Koskoff: Assuming he was not addicted, but had periods of drug dependency, would that have an impact on his life expectancy?

321

Dr. Schnoll: If appropriately treated, it would have no affect

322

Drug addicts can die early due to overdose; infections are very common, like HIV, Dr. Schnoll said.

323

If MJ got proper treatment, he would have like normal life expectancy, Dr. Schnoll said.

324

Keith Richards and The Rolling Stones have been performing for 50 years. Richards writes in his autobiography about his drug addiction.

325

Dr. Schnoll said he’s reading Richards’ book, but hasn’t finished yet. Defendant’s objected to the doctor talking about it based on hearsay.

326

Koskoff finished direct examination. AEG attorney Kathryn Cahan did cross examination of Dr. Schnoll.

327

Dr. Schnoll created the term “Rock Doc”, referring to doctors who work on rock n roll concerts.

328

Cahan: Do you think it’s ethical for doctors to go on tour?

329

Dr. Schnoll: It depends on what they do when they go on tour with them

330

I know some people who worked at concerts, Dr. Schnoll said. He has been one.

331

Dr. Schnoll said at times he was asked to treat performers, was hired to provide medical treatment at the facility to fans or artists.

332

Dr. Schnoll said his primary duty was to treat concert goers. He was paid by the promoters.

333

Cahan: Did you think that created a conflict of interest?

334

Dr. Schnoll: As long as I acted ethically, I did not

335

Dr. Schnoll said he acted ethically at that job. He worked at rock concerts in the ’70s.

336

Cahan asked if Dr Schnoll brought medical students to help him out. He said yes. She asked if he did background or credit checks on them

337

I knew most of them and I knew them well, Dr. Schnoll said.

338

Cahan: You were never hired as a doctor to accompany a band on tour?

339

Dr. Schnoll: That’s correct

340

Dr. Schnoll works for Pinney Associates, he’s a salaried employee and receives bonus at the end of the year, should there be one.

341

Cahan said Pinney Associates is charging $790/hour for Dr. Schnoll’s time.

342

Dr. Schnoll said he has no idea how many hours he has worked in this case. He was retained back in January.

343

There were weeks he put in 7-8 hours, some didn’t do anything. He said it would be hard to estimate, spoke with plaintiff atty 10-15 times

344

Dr. Schnoll said doctor shopping is going from doctor to doctor to receive medication.

345

Pseudoaddiction is when a patient is undertreated for pain, Dr. Schnoll said.

346

(nurse juror nodding in agreement)

347

A professional doctor knows the difference between addiction and pseudoaddiction.

348

Dr. Schnoll: If they have a severe pain problem that can only be treated by opioids, it is appropriate to give it.

349

Just the fact that Dr. Klein injected MJ with Demerol doesn’t raise concern of a relapse of Demerol dependency, Dr. Schnoll.

350

Cahan asked if it’s common practice to use Demerol for Botox injections and facial fillers treatment.

351

Dr. Schnoll responded he didn’t know, since he doesn’t do these procedures.

352

Cahan: How common is for pain specialists to have Demerol handy?

353

Dr Schnoll said Demerol is not commonly used anymore because it has other effects than just opioids, considered a dirty drug the doctor said

354

Dr. Schnoll said use of Demerol for pain went into question in the ’90s.

355

Dr. Schnoll: Probably not at all at this point, pain specialist would not keep Demerol handy

356

Dr. Schnoll said he last prescribed Demerol in the late 1970s. He stopped treating patients in 2001.

357

There was no evidence of addiction at that time, Dr. Schnoll said about MJ in 2009.

358

Dr. Schnoll did not offer opinion whether the amount or type of drug MJ was taking for cosmetic and dental work was appropriate.

359

Cahan: When you are evaluating a patient you rely on the patient being honest with you, correct?

360

Dr. Schnoll: Yes

361

Cahan: Did some patients not want to get treatment?

362

Dr. Schnoll: Well, of they came to me to treat addiction, they usually would come because they wanted to treat their addiction

363

Cahan: There has got to be some amount of trust between doctor and patient?

364

Dr. Schnoll: Right

365

Dr. Schnoll said people get confused as to whether the patient is addicted or dependent of drugs.

366

The expert said people would recognize there was something wrong with MJ, but may not be able to recognize it as withdrawal from opioids.

367

Some of opioids withdrawal include chills, running nose, tearing of the eyes, dilated pupil, goose bumps.

368

Dr. Schnoll said most doctors would be able to put all the symptoms together and conclude it is opioid withdrawal.

369

The doctor agreed that some lay people could identify the symptoms as flu.

370

Dr. Schnoll said he has treated tens of thousands of patients and only 5-6 were addicted to Propofol. These people were in the medical field

371

Dr. Schnoll said some of the patients might have been addicted to Propofol, but others were just abusing it.

372

Outside the presence of the jury, judge discussed with the attorneys about Jean Seawright’s testifying yesterday that AEG hired Dr. Murray.

373

Judge said that violated the motion in limine regarding this issue. Experts are NOT to give their opinion on whether AEG hired Dr. Murray.

374

Judge: This is your crucial, central issue in the case Mr. Panish. I’m surprised you had no discussion with her about it

375

Panish: I told her not to do it

376

Judge: I’m not upset, I think it’s entirely appropriate

377

Panish: I know you’re upset, I can tell that

378

Judge: there’s a ruling prohibiting any testimony, by any expert, on the issue!

379

An upset judge said: This is my concern, we are 9 weeks in this trial and it’s getting into mistrial territory. I don’t want to go there!

380

Judge: I don’t want this kind of problem that can lead to mistrial. I’m asking you to speak with all your experts

381

Judge: Every expert is only to make assumptions about hiring. I specifically did that (ruling) for a reason. Advise them about my order!

382

Panish: I don’t want a mistrial either

383

Judge: I don’t want a mistrial, it’s a waste of resources

384

Judge: There are bright lines Mr. Panish and you don’t even go near it because you may cross it accidentally

385

Panish: She said it, I wish she hadn’t, I don’t want a mistrial

386

Putnam said he agreed with the judge and agrees the instruction should be given as written.

387

Judge: I don’t know why you are pointing your fingers that way, Mr. Panish (to AEG’s side). I really don’t.

388

Judge admonished Panish to tell all experts to abide by her motions in limine.

389

Jurors brought in at 3:27 pm PT. Judge read them the following instruction: Yesterday, plaintiiff’s expert Jean Seawright said

390

Instruction cont’d: she believed they, AEG, hired Dr Murray. That violated a court order, the statement is stricken, shouldn’t be considered

391

Cahan resumed questioning Dr. Schnoll. Katherine left for the day.

392

Cahan asked if MJ was seeing other doctors at the same time he saw Dr. Murray, like Dr. Klein. Dr. Schnoll said yes.

393

Cahan: Are you aware of Dr. Klein being investigated…

394

Panish stopped and objected as improper. He asked for a sidebar.

395

Cahan: Did Dr. Klein write prescriptions to Mr. Jackson under other names?

396

Dr. Schnoll: Yes

397

Cahan: Could MJ have opiates in pill forms in 2009 from doctors while having Demerol injections from Dr. Klein?

398

Dr. Schnoll: I don’t like to work under possibilities, since everything under the sun is possible. I like working with probablilities

399

Dr. Schnoll said you try to look at the whole picture of what was going on and not look at the possibilities, but probablilities.

400

Cahan: Is it legal to write prescription to someone under another name?

401

Dr. Schnoll: Yes, it’s illegal

402

C: Have you ever done it?

403

Dr: No

404

Cahan asked if Dr. Schnoll testified in his deposition that MJ was dependent on Demerol? He answered yes, the time around the Dangerous tour

405

However, Dr. Schnoll says today he’s not sure MJ was dependent on Demerol in 2009.

406

He said he continued to investigate the case, looked at more records, and is now uncertain.

407

He’s also not absolutely sure, but says MJ was probably dependent on Demerol in 1993.

408

Dr. Schnoll said he could not opine whether the treatment after the burn on MJ’s scalp was appropriate.

409

Dr. Schnoll said he doesn’t think MJ was dependent on Demerol in January of 2009.

410

In April 2009, MJ received 375 mg of Demerol, the highest amount given by Dr. Klein.

411

Cahan asked what would happen if doctor gave her 375 mg of Demerol. “For you? You’d probably sleep for a while, about several hours” he said

412

Dr. Schnoll said he would probably give her initial dose of 50 mg.

413

The expert said that if the withdrawal symptoms were present, someone might have asked why MJ had the flu.

414

Dr. Schnoll said he asked for a chart to be made to be able to see how much Demerol MJ was getting and how frequent.

415

Was he really dependent? Dr. Schnoll asked himself. He said the appearance of withdrawal from Demerol usually shows within 24-36 hours.

416

It didn’t coincide with when I expected that withdrawal to occur, Dr. Schnoll said about MJ.

417

Dr. Schnoll: It was very hard for me to say he was dependent that time.

418

He doesn’t think the symptoms MJ was having on June 19, 2009 were related to Demerol withdrawal.

419

Cahan asked about patients who think they have their addiction under control and don’t want to quit the drug.

420

That’s why your job is to motivate them and help them see the problems with the dependency, Dr. Schnoll responded.

421

Dr. Schnoll said he didn’t have 100% success rate in his practice and that no one does.

422

Dr. Schnoll: MJ could’ve been off the drugs or taking the drugs in appropriate dosages if properly treated

423

Cahan asked about MJ’s family failed interventions. He said he doesn’t know if they were appropriately done; practice not used as much.

424

Cahan asked if Dr. Schnoll reviewed testimony that MJ had boxes of Propofol at Neverland and asked a doctor to inject him. He said yes.

425

Dr. Schnoll said he saw a concern one time of MJ going to Santa Ynez Cottage Hospital for excessive use of Demerol.

426

Dr. Schnoll said he looked at the totality of the picture, like a puzzle, trying to put everything together to understand what was going on.

427

They were not symptoms of Demerol withdrawal, but probably of Propofol, Dr. Schnoll testified about MJ’s symptoms in June 2009.

428

Koskoff asked in re-direct if Propofol was given for the drug or underlying condition. Dr. Schnoll said MJ asked Propofol to help him sleep.

429

Cahan in re-cross: What did nurse Cherilyn Lee say to MJ when he was looking for a doctor to give him Propofol?

430

Dr. Schnoll said Lee responded that MJ was taking chances.

431

Koskoff noted that MJ replied it would be safe if done under the supervision of a doctor.

432

Koskoff: And Dr. Murray gave it to him?

433

Dr. Schnoll: Yes

434

Dr. Schnoll was then excused and session adjourned. No court tomorrow or Friday.

435

Jury ordered to return on Monday at 10 am PT. Plaintiffs will play Dr Finkelstein’s deposition. Kenny Ortega set to testify in the afternoon

436

Panish told the judge he’s now estimating to finish his case in chief another week or so after the July 8th week, his last estimate.

437

That concluded Day 43 of testimony, Week 10. We hope to see you all back on Monday. Happy 4th of July everybody!

438

For all the latest, watch @ABC7 and to to http://www.abc7.com
Alan Duke of CNN summed up the week as follows:

Prince, Blanket Jackson celebrate dad’s life amid death trial

By Alan Duke, CNN

July 1, 2013 — Updated 2121 GMT (0521 HKT)

Los Angeles (CNN) — A business management expert testified Monday as lawyers try to prove Michael Jackson’s last concert promoter is liable in the singer’s death.

Human resources consultant Jean Seawright’s analysis of AEG Live’s hiring practices may lack the drama of last week’s testimony by Jackson’s oldest son, but it could be crucial for proving that the company negligently hired, retained or supervised Dr. Conrad Murray.

The trial of the lawsuit filed by Jackson’s mother and three children began its tenth week with their lawyers nearing the end of their case. AEG Live lawyers are expected to start presenting their defense around July 15.

AEG Live contends that Michael Jackson, not its executives, chose and controlled Murray, who is serving a prison sentence for an involuntary manslaughter conviction.

If the jury decides that AEG Live executives have responsibility for Jackson’s death from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol, they will then have to decide how much he might have earned in the years he didn’t get to live.

Prince and Blanket dancing

Jurors would have learned a lot about Michael Jackson’s work and worth if they had traveled with the Jackson family to Las Vegas over the weekend for the premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson One” show.

Prince, 16, and Blanket, 11, sang and danced while watching the Cirque celebration of their father’s music and life in a Mandalay Bay Casino theater. Paris, 15, was unable to attend because she is still hospitalized since last month’s suicide attempt.

The children never saw their father perform live, one of his motivations for attempting his comeback concerts, but thanks to technology Jackson appeared to be back on stage for a ghostly performance of “Man in the Mirror.”

Prince’s appearance at the opening of the permanent show, which is different from Cirque’s traveling “Immortal” show, came three days after he appeared in court to tell jurors about his father’s life and last days.

His father often cried after talking to AEG Live executives as he prepared for his comeback concerts, his oldest son testified Wednesday.

“After he got off the phone, he would cry,” Prince Jackson testified. “He would say ‘They’re going to kill me, they’re going to kill me.‘”

His father told him he was talking about AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips and his ex-manager, Dr. Tohme Tohme, Prince said.

Negligent hiring?

Seawright, who has worked as a human resources consultant for businesses for nearly 25 years was paid $300 an hour by Jackson lawyers to review documents and testimony on the wrongful death case. After about 100 hours, she said she reached an opinion about if AEG Live’s hiring of Dr. Murray was negligent.

“They did indeed fail to follow adequate hiring practices,” she testified Monday.

Serving as a personal doctor for Michael Jackson was “a very high risk position” that warranted a background check to determine if Murray was fit for the job, competent to do the work and did not have a conflict of interest, Seawright testified.

Jackson lawyers contend that Murray’s deep debt, which included $1 million in foreclosures and judgments, made him conflicted since he could lose his $150,000 a month job if Jackson didn’t make to rehearsals and perform his concerts.

A simple credit check — taking five minutes and costing less than $10 — would have revealed the conflict of interest, she said.

Credit checks are routine for many companies hiring for high-risk positions, she said.

A key piece of evidence used by the Jackson lawyers is an e-mail sent by AEG Live CE Randy Phillips to “This Is It” show director Kenny Ortega on June 20, 2009 — five days before Michael Jackson died from an overdose of propofol administered by Murray.

“This doctor is extremely successful (we check everyone out) and does not need this gig so he is totally unbiased and ethical,” Philips wrote in an effort to assure Ortega Jackson was in good hands with Dr. Murray.

Seawright testified that she found no evidence the company did anything to check out Dr Murray for fitness, competence or any conflict of interest that might lead him to provide unsafe treatments.

AEG Live argues that it never hired Murray, but simply negotiated with him on Jackson’s behalf.

Seawrght said companies have the same obligation in hiring, whether for a regular employee or and independent contractor.

Jury tampering

Jurors can expect to be watched more closely by court bailiffs after an incident near the end of Friday’s session. Two alternate jurors told the judge that a woman approached them during a court break.

“She mention ‘Please don’t give anyone any money,'” alternate juror No. 1 said.

Alternate juror No. 5 quoted the woman, saying “I just wanted to say not to award them any money.”

While the woman apparently was opposed to the Jackson’s lawsuit seeking billions of dollars in damages, AEG Live lawyer Marvin Putnam used the incident to suggest that the judge should crack down on Michael Jackson fans who wear Jackson shirts and carry signs of support for Katherine Jackson in the court hallway.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos rejected Putnam’s request, saying Jackson fans have free speech rights that she cannot limit.

Both alternate jurors said the incident would not affect their ability to make an impartial decision in the case.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/01/showbiz/jackson-death-trial/index.html?sr=sharebar_twitter

However all of the above was for inquisitive minds only. For the rest here is the news about week 10 as presented by the Aspociated Press:

Experts the focus of Jackson trial’s 10th week

Associated Press – Sat, Jul 6, 2013 11:29 PM ED

A look at key moments this past week in the wrongful death trial in Los Angeles between Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, and concert giant AEG Live LLC, and what is expected at court in the week ahead:

THE CASE

Jackson’s mother wants a jury to determine that the promoter of Jackson’s planned comeback concerts didn’t properly investigate Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter by a criminal jury for Jackson’s June 2009 death. AEG’s attorney says the case is about personal choice, namely Jackson’s decision to have Murray serve as his doctor and give him doses of a powerful anesthetic as a sleep aid. Millions, possibly billions, of dollars are at stake.

WHAT HAPPENED THIS PAST WEEK

— An addiction and pain management expert, Dr. Sidney Schnoll, told jurors that there was no evidence in Jackson’s medical records he reviewed that the singer was addicted to prescription medications. He told the panel that with proper treatment, Jackson could have lived a long life and continued to perform.

— Jurors heard from a human resources expert, Jean Seawright, who said AEG Live should have performed a comprehensive background check on Murray before agreeing to allow him to work on the Jackson’s tour. She said the former cardiologist’s initial $5 million request, and his expected $150,000 a month payday, were red flags and more investigation was warranted.

WHAT THE JURY SAW

— A large, three-panel display of Jackson’s history of medical treatments, including administrations of the anesthetic propofol dating back to 1997.

— The judge throw up her arms after an attorney for Katherine Jackson asked Seawright whether she had an opinion on whether AEG Live hired Conrad Murray, a key point in the case. Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos stopped the proceedings to address the jury and tell them that they were the ones who would determine whether Murray was hired by the concert promoter.

QUOTABLE MOMENTS

— “Since he was going into treatment, I can only assume he didn’t want to be a drug dependent person,” Schnoll said regarding Jackson and his decision to enter rehab for prescription drug issues in 1993.

— “It was a red flag to me at the beginning of the process,” Seawright said of Murray’s initial fee request and agreement to work with Jackson for $150,000 a month.

OUTSIDE THE COURTROOM

— Jackie Jackson said his niece Paris Jackson is going to be fine and is getting better after being hospitalized last month for taking Motrin pills and cutting her arm with a kitchen knife. Jackie Jackson made his comments before the premiere of the Michael Jackson-themed Cirque du Soleil show “One” in Las Vegas.

WHAT’S NEXT

— Michael Jackson’s nephew Taj Jackson is expected to resume testifying.

http://music.yahoo.com/news/experts-focus-jackson-trials-10th-week-153037456.html

26 Comments leave one →
  1. July 16, 2013 4:38 pm

    “I know Seawright said she assumed AEG hired Murray. The judge told the jury to dismiss this comment.Isn´t that enough. Or will that be used as 1 argument for mistrial..” – kaarin

    See what tweet I found on TeamMichaelJackson:

    “There were sparks flying at end of court today, Judge allowed previous cases against Michael to be aired, but is not allowing ones againt AEG”.

    I think there is a noticeable change in the judge’s behavior. I’ve read Karen Faye’s June 28th testimony and practically all her answers to Putnam were hearsay (what she heard, what people said, etc), however the judge did not say a word. Then Panish had only 20 minutes for recross examination, out of which half was spent on AEG’s objections and the other half was sustained.

    Look at these excerpts from Karen’s testimony. I am no expert in legal matters but the judge’s answers look worrisome to me:

    Panish. And do you know whether or not AEG, subsequent to that, tried to change the schedule?
    A. I didn’t know, sir.
    Q. Do you know whether Mr. Gongaware tried to make it look like it wasn’t as much work as it was?
    A. No, I didn’t know that.
    Ms. Stebbins: Objection; lacks foundation.
    Judge: Sustained, and the answer is stricken. You asked the same question. That’s why she’s objecting in advance.She already knows what you’re going to ask. So I’m going to allow you to do that, Ms. Bina. You have 20 minutes.
    Mr. Panish: Your honor — okay.

    Q. Were you aware that Mr. Gongaware was trying to prepare the calendar for Michael Jackson, within two days of your email, stating that he wanted to make the calendar look like Michael wasn’t working as much as he was?
    Ms. Stebbins: Objection.
    Q. Were you aware of that fact?
    Ms. Stebbins: Objection; leading, lacks foundation.
    Judge: Sustained.

    Q. And were you surprised to see Frank Dileo come back?
    A. Yes, sir.
    Q. Why?
    A. Well, Michael told me he’d never hire him again, sir.
    Ms. Stebbins: Objection; hearsay.
    Judge: Sustained, the answer is stricken.

    Like

  2. July 15, 2013 4:52 am

    If there is a mistrial where will they find people who have not read news papers?

    Like

  3. July 15, 2013 4:49 am

    Who called the shots end of june? It wasn´t Michael and it wasn´t Murray. And even some time earlier.

    Like

  4. July 15, 2013 4:43 am

    AEG pefers words like hireing and creditcard,technical words ,non emotonal words to deflect from the reality; The killing of a human being and their own atrocious manipulations.
    I know Seawright said she assumed AEG hired Murray. The judge told the jury to dismiss this comment.Isn´t that enough. Or will that be used as 1 argument for mistrial..
    The beginning of the trial was horrible,just listening to all that amnesia gave me a headache.
    Qestions had to be repeated, rephrased and on and on.

    Like

  5. Mariam permalink
    July 14, 2013 4:38 pm

    Someone on Dr.CM trial mentioned it, may be the guy himself I am not very sure but someone said that the security guy introduced Dr.CM to Michael. CM was treating the kids for about 5 or 6 times in three years not more than that but AEG lawyers tiring to convince everyone, like CM was long time personal Dr. of Micheal so that Micheal haired him not AEG. This is what happened when the lawyers defending bad guys, all kind of inappropriate things going on, lying, misleading, cheating, hide, destroying evidence e.t.c…They usually make themselves worse than the person they defend. For me Micheal was himself like employ for AEG because he was supervised and controlled by AEG. MJ did not appear he is a boss for his own show. If you supervised his rehearsal and his attendance, if you telling him not to wear your eye glasses or if you force him to put that thing in to his ear against his will, if he cannot chose his on cloches designer, if he cannot chose his owned manager, if they fired your chef and Nannies, if your director shout on you and if he tell you “do it you have no choice”, your chorographer who is working for you supervising you?, your manager who you haired bullying you?, Is that the way you communicate to your boss? Is that how it works? I DON’T THINK SO. To me all that indicted that Micheal did not have any control on everything in aspect of that O2 or “This is it” production and has no choices instead obey them and frightened and cry. Sorry, I am a little bit annoyed.
    Helen you are amazing, your blog help me to understand a lot of thing. God bless

    Like

  6. Lopsided man permalink
    July 13, 2013 4:15 pm

    Speaking of Grace Rwaramba & Dr. Murray, there’s an interesting detail that’s been left out of most discussions and reports about Murray’s relationship with Michael.

    According to an L.A. Times article*, after Michael’s death, during an interview with LAPD investigators, Grace told them that upon Michael’s return to the United States in
    December 2006, Dr. Murray was introduced to Michael by a bodyguard who claimed to have some sort of “leverage” over Murray.
    *[I can’t find the L.A.Times article at the moment, and the full transcript of the Grace Rwaramba interview wasn’t made public, but there are TMZ articles about it.]

    There’s no mention in the article as to what this “leverage” was. But the word “leverage” is interesting, because it suggests having power or influence over someone else. This is quite different from just a simple friendly referral.

    It carries even more troubling implications, in retrospect. It suggests that the doctor-patient relationship was compromised in some way by a 3rd party with leverage over Dr. Murray from the very beginning, right to the end.

    I have to wonder: What, or more to the point, WHO was really behind the introduction?

    Another interesting detail: When they met, Dr. Murray was living at the Red Rock Country Club, in Las Vegas, a property owned by Thomas Barrack (Colony Capital) & William Bone (previous owner of Neverland Valley ranch).

    Must be another “coincidence”.

    Like

  7. Sina permalink
    July 12, 2013 6:42 pm

    @Susanerb, the Nancy – ‘ tell her to go to hell’ ,quote MJ – Grace confusion was hilarious 🙂
    and embarrassing 😦
    I bet she wished court was over the minute Taj told her it was not THAT Grace.

    On a different note, Tajs tweet about Roger Friedman is exactly what most MJ supporters who know RFs track record with Michael think of him and rightfully so.
    That is why I said in a previous comment that by referencing a tabloid reporter or any media in their response to the allegations, instead of going by their own conclusions, the MJE executors would sooner or later bite their own tail. And it happened sooner than Id thought.
    Big mistake.

    Like

  8. July 12, 2013 3:43 pm

    Can someone explain why Philip Anschutz does not have to testify? I would have thought his testimony would be valuable and tell whether he did a deposition?

    Like

  9. Sina permalink
    July 12, 2013 2:08 pm

    So far the Judge has only warned for a possible mistrial, but it seems they deliberately create situations for a mistrial.

    Wasnt it AEG who brought up the question about hiring Murray to Seawright (the HR specialist?)
    From the transcripts:
    ” Bina asked if all the opinions Seawright offered are based on the assumption that AEG, not MJ, hired Dr. Murray. She said yes.
    Seawright said she did not analyze the info assuming Michael Jackson hired Dr. Murray.”
    That was a misleading question that the witness who is a laymen in court, thought she had to answer.

    Then the woman who approached the jurors not to award money to the plaintiff, which is a very serious attempt to jeopardize the trial. Fortunately they were alternate jurorrs, but it was very strange considering there must be camera;’s and security everywhere in the building.

    AEG falsely presented an EEOC policy on credit check, as a discriminatory practice.as if it was a law as a reason why they do not do these checks and Panish had to even correct the judge that it was just a guideline. In general I find the judge sloppy and she lacks authority to correct witnesses who do not answer questions properly or lawyesr who ask improper questions.

    Yesterday out of the blue Taj was asked questions about Debbie Rowes relationship with the children. and he answered, but these are subjects ( paternity and maternity) that are excluded from the trial and should not even be asked.

    Thinking about Murray being around Michael long before the concerts would start, how come it never rang a bell with AEG that there must be serious problems with the artist if he needed a doctor 24/7 .And still he was not attending rehearsals, losing weight, needed a nutritionist, collapsed while rehearsing, disoriented, could not keep up etc. etc. What were they thinking of the treatment Murray was giving Michael that made RP gain so much respect for him.

    Like

  10. July 12, 2013 1:32 pm

    For a change here is something hilarious:

    “Lawyer confuses Nancy Grace with nanny Grace in Jackson death trial

    An AEG Live lawyer made an embarrassing mistake in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial — confusing HLN host Nancy Grace with the Jacksons’ former nanny.
    It happened Thursday as attorney Kathryn Cahan cross examined Taj Jackson — Michael Jackson’s oldest nephew — who had just described a close and lovely relationship between the late pop icon and his three children.
    Did Taj Jackson think Grace Rwaramba — who served for years as the nanny for Prince, Paris and Blanket Jackson — was “dishonest at times,” Cahan asked.
    The judge ordered him to answer, overruling a Jackson lawyer’s objections that the question was irrelevant to the case.
    “I have not experienced her dishonesty,” Jackson answered.
    Cahan then presented something she apparently thought would discredit Jackson’s testimony, showing he was not being honest. It was a “TwitLonger” message posted online by him on December 11, 2011. TwitLonger is a service that allows users to post longer messages on Twitter.
    Taj Jackson was discussing his dislike of journalist Roger Friedman, who he called “anti-Jackson” and a “sneaky snake.”
    “Sorry… but there are a couple of people who truly disgust me. And to me, he belongs in the same category as Grace, Dimond, and Bashir,” he wrote.

    Does that document refresh his recollection of your opinion of Grace Rwaramba, Cahan asked.
    “That’s not the same,” he responded. “That’s Nancy Grace!”
    It took several seconds for the loud laughter in the courtroom to subside.”

    (From Alan Duke)

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/12/showbiz/jackson-death-trial/?hpt=hp_t2

    Like

  11. July 12, 2013 12:23 pm

    “What would mistrial mean in practice? My feeling is that these proceedings has been disproportunately drawn out as result of the poor memories of AEG officials.” – kaarin

    It seems that one of the reasons for a mistrial may be “the failure to complete a trial within the time set by the court” as the definition says. So all those long testimonies when the AEG executives were battling with their memory can very well lead to a mistrial.

    This policy is serving their goals whichever way you look at it. On the one hand they “don’t remember” a single meeting with MJ, don’t remember what they meant by their emails, don’t remember what they spoke about to Murray for hours on the phone and all this makes it next to impossible to learn the truth of what they did to MJ. And on the other hand this mass amnesia of theirs is leading to a mistrial too. Two benefits in one package.

    AEG’s methods are so blatantly fraudulent that now I begin to think that they were capable of anything, just anything. If previously I suspected their contract to be a fraud and a cut-and-paste job, now I am sure of it. And this is probably not even the worst of what they did.

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  12. July 12, 2013 12:03 pm

    “I have noticed in the past several weeks there is one word which is becoming more frequently heard from by either the Defense or the Judge. The word is mistrial.” – Dialdancer

    Sorry for being away, guys. I was unwell and need to catch up.

    I also noticed this word used several times. The spoke about a mistrial when a HR expert expressed her opinion that AEG hired Conrad Murray. Up till now I don’t understand why she could not say it. The reason seems to me too far-fetched.
    Here is a definition of a mistrial:

    “A mistrial is the termination of a trial before its natural conclusion because of a procedural error, statements by a witness, judge or attorney which prejudice a jury, a deadlock by a jury without reaching a verdict after lengthy deliberation (a “hung” jury), or the failure to complete a trial within the time set by the court. A mistrial may be declared by the judge on his/her own initiative or upon the motion (request) of one of the parties will “declare a mistrial’. If a mistrial is declared, the jury, if there is one, is dismissed, and direct that the lawsuit or criminal prosecution be set for trial again, starting from the beginning by selecting a jury.

    Some of the reasons that may form the basis for a mistrial include:

    A significant procedural error
    Because it is discovered that a court lacks jurisdiction over a case
    Jurors were selected improperly
    Misconduct that prevents a fair trial

    http://definitions.uslegal.com/m/mistrial/

    One of the possible reasons is “misconduct that prevents a fair trial”. I think that the woman who approached the jury in the hall and told them not to award any money compensation to the family could be an example of such misconduct. But arranging it presents absolutely no problem to AEG! The only party interested in a mistrial is AEG and only AEG, so this is where we need to look.

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  13. Sina permalink
    July 12, 2013 9:00 am

    @ Kaarin. Even if Murray was called a few times for the kids or was Michaels regular physician which is unlikely with Michael constantly moving, the capacity in which he was ‘treating’ Michael in his last months had nothing whatsoever to do with ordinary physicians work. He was contracted specifically to work as a ‘tour ’doctor ‘, whatever that is supposed to mean, and then fraudulently took upon himself the position of an anesthesiologist, experimenting with a mans life.
    It was all and only because of the 50 concerts that Michael was tricked into by AEG, with the consensus of the whole ‘TEAM’ of which we know by their emails that Michael was no part of.

    @Dialdancer, I know what you mean by the possibility of mistrial. Not that the plaintiff does not have more than enough ammunition, but because the defense is pushing to it with all the lying and fake amnesia of their witnesses.

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  14. July 12, 2013 7:53 am

    There is another incorrect fact that is constantly circulated by AEG,that Murray was Michaels physician for 3 years prior to april or march 2009.I never heard that he treated Michael in any way during those 3 years. Michael had him check his children when they had flu. Usually it is not necessary to call a doctor for such.Flu is cured by itself in 2 weeks or in 14 days or less .The only important thing maybe to check that a child does not have pneumonia or a strep infection. But in that case they are much sicker than with flu.Michael was just an overly concerned parent.Maybe murray lived in the same neigbourhood.

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  15. July 12, 2013 4:17 am

    What would mistrial mean in practice? My feeling is that these proceedings has been disproportunately drawn out as result of the poor memories of AEG officials.The special witnesses Dr.s Schnoll and Czeisler were exellent.-Overall what has been going on in court seems to favor MRS Jackson.Why then would it be mistrial?

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  16. July 11, 2013 6:13 pm

    I have noticed in the past several weeks there is one word which is becoming more frequently heard from by either the Defense or the Judge. The word is mistrial.

    Like

  17. July 11, 2013 6:29 am

    They spek about hiring. The really only fact of importance is that during the most critical period Murray took orders fromAEG and that led to Michaels death.He was so obedient that he even gave most of his time on am 25/6 to the insurance, very likely after Michael was already dead.

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  18. July 11, 2013 6:20 am

    Most of the prescription pills were for benzodiasepines. In the morning hrs of 25/6 2009 Murray gave Michael some hefty doses of Midazolam and others iv,those that were found in the blood at autopsy.The prescriptions for pills were also mostly benzoes, the presciptions were old and Michael had hardly taken any.You can find exact info far back in this blog.

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  19. MagUK permalink
    July 10, 2013 2:13 pm

    I agree that it is good that this evidence is now documented for future generations. We also know that Michael had various jars of prescribed medication at the Carolwood house , but the number of pills used from the jars when compared to the prescription dates, showed that he hadn’t been taking them very often.

    The coroner confirmed that Michael’s internal organs were healthy and showed no signs of long-term drug abuse. Dr Klein’s records provided to the Court in the Murray trial showed that Michael had only been given the dosage of Demerol required for his treatment , and now we have Dr Schnoll. I have also seen a picture of one of Michael’s famous “post-it ” notes with a list of some drugs and written alongside one “the same as..but non addictive”.. so we now have more than ample evidence that he was not a drug addict, and didn’t want to be.

    What makes it worse is that the media uses phrases like “history of drug addiction ” or .”died from a drug overdose”..I’ m sure a lot of people think he was a heroin addict at the very least !!

    Whatever the outcome of this trial, it does seem to be exploding a lot of myths and setting the record straight about a lot of things.
    I just wish Michael had tackled his insomnia and sought out proper treatment. There must have been times in his life when he could have done that without too much disruption to his routine.

    I believe he saw the Propofol as a quick-fix to get him through the concerts ( and would not have continued to take it afterwards) I don’t think he would ever have taken that route if he thought there was a real danger.to his life,.,(although Nurse Lee said she did warn him) and it’s horrible to learn that the final 2 months of his life were pretty much stressful and miserable, He deserved so much better.

    Thank you Helena for your hard work in bringing these updates to us. Let’s hope at least some of the doubters will start to review their opinions now. May truth prevail indeed.!!!

    Like

  20. July 10, 2013 5:54 am

    Thank you, Mariam, for your encouraging words.
    I’m also sure God is on his side, and the trial already revealed a lot for people to understand Michael’s real problems and challenges, which are totally different to what the media tells them. If people don’t want to bother themselves now with it, it is at least documented in the court record forever for future generations to research and assess correctly the life and death of Michael Jackson. I’m sure he will be re-evaluated in future because all the necessary evidence is there, no matter what tabloids are writing right now.

    And Helena’s blog is also part of this evidence for future generations.

    Like

  21. Mariam permalink
    July 9, 2013 8:34 pm

    Truth will reveal, he had a good heart and he was very humble man, so God will help him. I strongly believe God is with his side. Knowing exactly what Michael was going through; it hurts but also it is very good thing for all people who love him and care about him (for his families, friends, his kids and fans). For me I got clear understanding now than ever that Michael in fact was not addicted. he even tried a lot to avoid those pain medicines. He was not even abusing pain medication. This trial is good whether Mrs, Katrine is win or not, because it reveals a lot of truth about Micheal. Now people will realize how strong person and loving caring person he was. He went through a lot. He was very strong person

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  22. July 9, 2013 8:26 am

    It is so sad that that none of his mentors ever sent him to the appropriate medical doctors for treatment.

    Like

  23. July 9, 2013 8:24 am

    Also any pain you may have is exaggerated by insomnia.These 2 problems work in tandem. Great evidence by Dr. Schnoll.

    Like

  24. July 9, 2013 6:56 am

    It has crossed my mind that Michael who suffered from a more or less lifelong problem of insomnia ; that this may have caused or exaggerated his pain and general wellbeing.
    This being untreated he may have resorted from time to to to time during high stress to drugs. They do enhance wellbeing and help to some degree to induce sleep.Also the sleeping company by who ever, it was Dr.Klein Debbie and most of the office staff once in Hawai in the early days. So when Michael said he was misunderstood he may have been more correct than he knew himself.This persistent insomnia may be the root cause for most of his problems. I am sure anybody who has suffered from it to some degree can understand that. You feel really rotten after a sleepless night and just think that you have to perform!

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  25. Linda permalink
    July 9, 2013 12:41 am

    This is all very interesting. Dr. Schnoll sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. I’m not an addict, but have been drug dependent for many years. A lot of people, even Michael’s own family thought he was an addict, and tried interventions. Its one thing to search for drugs to get high, totally another to search for drugs because you’re in too much pain to get through the day and do your job. That’s why Michael rejected his families intervention.

    He knew he didn’t need an intervention. He just needed relief from pain. If a person is in enough pain they will do whatever they have to, to find relief, even for us folks who don’t have a lot of money, we’ll find a way. I was buying pain pills from people at five dollars a pill, which I needed 2 a day to get through work 5 days a week. That’s 10 dollars a day, 50 dollars a week, a lot of money for me. Now, I get a prescription from my Dr., so a lot cheaper.

    With Michael’s money and contacts he could have easily become an addict, but never did. He just depended on drugs to get him through the day. Pain pills are great. They can ease physical pain and they can ease emotional pain. He was going through both at the same time. drugs helped.

    Like

  26. pegasus dogs permalink
    July 8, 2013 11:29 pm

    Thank you so very much for keeping me posted on the Truth of what is happening.   My only wish is that the Hater’s would read the Truth and stop spreading all the lies about Michael that they do – it just makes me sick some of the garbage they spread.  It really does need to stop somehow, somewhere.    I must say, that whoever it is that does the research and the writing – does an excellent job!  Keep up the superior work and God Bless All of You on behalf of the MJ Fans everywhere, for your time, dedication, truthfulness, etc. in bringing out all the facts for us all to read and be kept up-to-date on!  I pray that your site will grow larger and stronger with more MJ Fans – like a beautiful Rose Bush.  Thank you again!

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