News summary of week 20 at the AEG trial. THE FINAL TESTIMONIES
Before the closing arguments of both sides in the Jacksons vs AEG case starting on Monday we need to look at the last testimonies at the trial to see where we are at the moment.
Here is the summary of week 20 and some articles covering it. Formally it is week 21 as one week was left out due to the absence of one of the jurors.
Due to my present handicapped condition and having to type with one finger only, my comments will be minimal.
On week 20 the trial proceedings resumed on Wednesday. AEG wanted to question Katherine Jackson about the statement of damages being “40 billion” which was the figure much publicized by the AEG-oriented press, but eventually the AEG lawyers decided against calling Michael’s mother back to the stand as it turned out that this statement was never signed or even seen by Katherine Jackson.
Alan Duke wrote about it:
AEG Live backs down on calling Michael Jackson’s mom
By Alan Duke, CNN
September 17, 2013 — Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
Los Angeles (CNN) — AEG Live lawyers changed their mind about calling Katherine Jackson as their last witness in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial.
Instead, lawyers for the concert promoter may play a portion of Prince Jackson’s video deposition before resting its defense case Wednesday.
The five-month-long trial in Los Angeles is nearing an end, an closing arguments could be delivered on Monday. Testimony, which has been on hold for more than a week because of an illness in one juror’s family, resumes Wednesday.
Jackson’s mother and three children are suing AEG Live, contending that the concert promoter was liable for the pop icon’s death because it hired, retained or supervised the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
AEG Live argues that Jackson chose and controlled Dr. Conrad Murray and that its executives had no way of knowing about the dangerous treatments he was giving the star in his bedroom.
Jackson died of an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol, which Murray told investigators he used to treat the singer’s insomnia so he could rest for comeback concert rehearsals in the summer of 2009.
AEG Live lawyer Marvin Putnam announced in court last week that he intended to call Michael Jackson’s elderly mother to question her “about the absurdity of the damages” she wants the jury to award if they decide the company is liable. Putnam informed the court and Jackson’s lawyers Monday that he had decided not to call her again.
A Jackson lawyer argued that AEG Live’s “intent is to show the lawsuit’s purpose is greed,” while the judge suggested that any mother could be expected to say “there is no amount of money that would substitute for the loss of her son.”
Putnam has frequently cited in interviews a “statement of damages” letter sent to him by a Jackson lawyer last year capping possible damages at $40 billion, but the judge ruled that he could not refer to it in court because it was not a sworn filing in the case.
Jackson lawyer Kevin Boyle pointed out that the lawsuit complaint only says that damages would be “according to proof at trial,” based on testimony by several expert witnesses who have testified.
Jackson expert Arthur Erk –– a certified public accountant who has managed and audited the business affairs of many top artists — testified that he was “reasonably certain” that Jackson would have earned at least $1.5 billion from touring, endorsements and sponsorships had he not died from a propofol overdose preparing for his “This Is It” tour.
“It is very difficult to assess the value of the King of Pop,” Jackson lawyer Deborah Chang told the judge Wednesday. “How do you even do that?”
The non-economic damages suffered because of Michael Jackson’s death could be enormous considering “what happened to Paris Jackson,” she said. Jackson’s 15-year-old daughter attempted suicide in June and remains in a treatment program.
Jackson lawyers seemed to welcome the prospect of AEG Live calling their client as their final witness, considering how jurors reacted when she was on the stand in July. Jurors leaned forward and paid close attention during her two days of testimony as the last witness in their case.
“Why are you here?” Jackson lawyer Brian Panish asked her.
“Because I want to know what really happened to my son,” she said. “And that’s why I am here.”
Panish asked Jackson how it made her feel to be asked probing and personal questions about her family by AEG Live lawyer Marvin Putnam.
“It makes me feel real bad, because my son was a very good person,” she said. “He loved everybody. He gave to charity. He was in the Guinness Book of World Records for giving to charity.”
If jurors decide that AEG Live is liable in Jackson’s death, they could award damages based on the loss of the mother’s and children’s relationship with him and the amount of money he was unable to earn because his life was cut short.
After AEG Live rests its case — which lawyers indicated would happen Wednesday — the Jackson lawyers would have a chance to call several rebuttal witnesses.
The LA Times focused on Dr. Metzger allowing German doctors give Michael propofol on two occasions at the end of the History tour.
The only thing this episode testifies to is that if MJ ever used propofol it was on very rare occasions, only on the eve of a concert, at the end of the tour when he was tired and in situations of extreme stress or fatigue which made him unable to sleep with the help of more conventional medication.
Now if similar circumstances arose during mere rehearsals of ‘This is it’ it means that AEG drove Michael into the utmost degree of stress already at the rehearsal stage when the concerts did not even start. Michael’s son Prince confirmed it – when his father spoke to the AEG people on the phone those conversations would often finish with Michael crying and saying that they were going to kill him.
Jackson-AEG Trial: Doctor expected to discuss sleep, drugs
By Jeff Gottlieb
September 18, 2013, 11:25 a.m
Jurors in the long-running Michael Jackson wrongful death trial are expected to be shown video testimony Wednesday from a physician who allegedly arranged for the singer to be given a powerful anesthetic during a mid-1990s concert tour.
Allen Metzger, who treated the performer for 15 years, twice arranged for German doctors to administer the anesthetic propofol to Jackson in a hotel room when the singer was having trouble sleeping during a stint of concerts in that country, Jackson’s former wife Debbie Rowe testified last month.
Rowe’s testimony provided the first evidence that Jackson had a history of using the drug or that he had used it as a sleep aid prior to the days leading up to his death in June 2009, when the singer was fighting insomnia as he prepared for a comeback tour.
Jackson died after he was administered a fatal dose of propofol in his rented Holmby Hills mansion by Dr. Conrad Murray, who was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter and is serving a jail term.
Testimony in the trial, which started in late April, has been delayed for about a week because of an illness in a juror’s family.
Jackson’s mother and three children are suing concert producer and promoter AEG Live, saying the company negligently hired and supervised Murray. AEG says that the doctor worked for Jackson, and that any money it was supposed to pay the physician was just part of an advance to the singer.
Rowe testified that Metzger was one of the only doctors treating Jackson that she trusted.
Metzger testified at Murray’s criminal trial that the singer was concerned about his health, especially his insomnia, and asked for an anesthetic to help him sleep. Metzger testified he advised against using propofol.
He also testified during the manslaughter trial that the singer was feeling anxious about his scheduled 50 concert dates in London but felt up to the task.
After Metzger’s video deposition is played, AEG is expected to play a deposition from Prince Jackson, Michael’s oldest child. Prince Jackson, 16, testified for about 90 minutes earlier in the trial, detailing life with his father and the singer’s final moments.
Prince Jackson also testified that his father felt he needed more time to rehearse before starting the “This Is It” tour. He said his father would sometimes cry after getting off the phone with AEG Live Chief Executive Randy Phillips and his manager.
“He would say,`They’re going to kill me, they’re going to kill me,’” Prince Jackson testified.
Defense rests in Michael Jackson trial
AP 8:56 p.m. EDT September 18, 2013
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lawyers for concert promoter AEG Live LLC rested their defense Wednesday with testimony from a longtime friend and doctor of Michael Jackson in the negligence case filed by Jackson’s mother over his death.
The trial is in its 21st week and jurors are expected to begin deliberations next week.
Defense attorneys provided an emotional finale to their presentation, playing the videotaped testimony of Jackson’s physician Allan Metzger.
With Katherine Jackson seated in the courtroom’s front row, jurors heard Metzger deliver a tribute to the star.
“I saw him as a great guy … a wonderful, generous person,” said Metzger, whose account, given on videotape a year ago, delivered perhaps the most human view of the superstar by any witness.
Metzger spoke of Jackson’s decision to embark on the ultimately ill-fated “This Is It” tour to eradicate the stigma of his child molestation trial.
“He wanted to redeem Michael Jackson,” said Metzger who visited with the singer at home three months before Jackson died and told of the heart-to-heart talk with him.
“He wanted to redeem his image,” the doctor said. “He felt this was it and he wanted to go out with a flash. He was still terribly hurt about the trial and the accusations. ”
Jackson was tried and acquitted in a sensational molestation trial in 2005 then lived abroad for a time and returned to rehearse for his This Is It tour.
Metzger’s testimony contradicted many accounts of Jackson as a tortured figure in his last months, forced to commit to more concerts than he was capable of doing and turning to prescription drugs to chase away his demons and find the elusive sleep he craved.
Metzger said the star was energized — and scared — by the prospect of the shows.
He said their conversation in February 2009 began with “an anxiety call” from Jackson.
“I think he was fearful because this was it and he needed to do a lot of perfectionalizing,” Metzger testified. “He wanted it to be something that had never been done before.”
One thing that scared Jackson, he said, was the prospect that he would not be able to sleep when he got to London to kick off the concerts.
Metzger said he suggested putting him in touch with sleep therapists in London, but Jackson resisted.
In his last meeting with Jackson in April, 2009, the singer asked Metzger for intravenous sleep medication, but the doctor said he refused, telling Jackson it was dangerous and potentially life-threatening.
The doctor also lectured him on nutrition and hydration, noting that Jackson typically dropped seven to eight pounds in every performance.
He said Jackson never mentioned Conrad Murray or spoke of taking propofol, the drug that killed him. Murray was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter for giving Jackson an overdose of the drug in June 2009. He is serving a prison term.
AEG Live’s defense has focused heavily on testimony from Jackson’s former physicians, who have detailed their treatments for the superstar. The company denies it hired Murray.
Lawyers for Katherine Jackson were expected to present a brief rebuttal case this week and closing arguments were likely to begin on Monday.
Metzger began treating Jackson in the early 1980s. He told of traveling with him to Australia on the History Tour and being at his wedding to Debbie Rowe. Jackson suffered from insomnia even then, he said.
Metzger testified about his treatments of Jackson over the years and said the singer could be secretive and often didn’t tell him when he was receiving medical care from other doctors. He described the singer’s behavior as “doctor shopping.”
He said he did not know him to be addicted to painkillers although he had a low threshold for pain and often sought medication.
“He was a big baby. He didn’t want any pain,” Metzger said.
Metzger said he had not seen Jackson in years when the star suddenly called in 2009 and asked the doctor to come to his house.
“I was ecstatic,” Metzger said. “I missed him. I wanted to see him. The kids were growing up and I had been close to the kids.”
He described a confident Jackson sharing his thoughts with an old friend.
“He was excited to come back into the public arena in a good light,” Metzger said.
The doctor said Jackson also joked about getting older and wondered aloud how his neck and back would hold up. They spoke about his sleep problems, but again there was no mention of Murray or propofol, according to the testimony.
“His eyes were bright. He was ready to go,” Metzger recalled. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2013/09/18/michael-jackson-trial-defense-rests/2834603/
Here are the ABC tweets about Dr. Metzger’s video testimony recorded approximately a year ago before the trial. Dr. Metzger was deposed by the AEG lawyers and in his then testimony he occasionally looked like the one willing to throw Michael under the bus – at least to me his words about ‘doctor shopping’ looked that way.
The AEG lawyers were willing to stop at showing the deposition only, but since Dr. Metzger was on the Plaintiffs’ list too they called him as their witness and this time his testimony created a much better impression. It seems that initially Dr.Metzger was frightened by the prospect of having to answer for what others had done to Michael and was probably resentful that he was the only one of his doctors summoned to testify.
Wednesday SEPTEMBER 18, 2013. DAY 81
Hello from LA. Trial in the Jackson family vs AEG case resumed only today. Juror 1 had personal issues and could only come back today.
Today was Day 81 of trial, Week 20! In the morning, without the presence of the jury, judge heard several arguments from attorneys.
Judge Yvette Palazuelos ruled that closing arguments and possibly verdict will take place in a much larger courtroom.
The trial will move to the same courtroom where jury selection was done in order to accommodate whoever wants to see the proceedings live.
The ruling came with objection of AEG’s attorneys who wanted to keep everything in the small courtroom the trial took place over last 5 months
During deliberation, the jurors will be partially sequestered. They will have special arrangements for arrival and departure.
Jurors will have a room to eat lunch that doesn’t require them to mingle with anyone else.
As to closing arguments, Judge said they don’t want to begin one party’s closing on Friday then take the weekend off.
Judge said minimum of 3, up to 4 hours for closing for each side. Closing arguments to begin Monday at 10 am with plaintiffs.
Closing for defense Tuesday at 10 am. Rebuttal on Wednesday — not sure how long Panish will take.
Best envision to finish pre-instruction Friday by noon, closing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, concluding instruction after rebuttal.
Judge: After it’s done, staff and security will need 1 hour and 1/2 with the jurors prior to the commencement of deliberations.
According to this plan, jury could get the case late Wednesday or Thursday of next week.
After lunch break, trial resumed. Katherine Jackson was back in the courtroom today wearing a dark pink jacket.
Attorneys stated their appearance for the jury. Judge Yvette Palazuelos said “really good news: we’re in the 9th inning!”
She told jurors the closing of evidence will be either tomorrow or Friday. Judge thanked juror number 1 for coming back.
Court staff gave jurors October calendar, they are to check it and bring back tomorrow.
Video deposition of Dr. Allan Metzger resumed. He said he doesn’t recall if he treated MJ for insomnia in the 80s, needed to look at records
He doesn’t think Doctors Klein or Hoefflin were present in the HIStory tour. Putnam asked about Dr. Neil Ratner.
Dr. Metzger: Ratner was an anesthetist from NY. I don’t remember how he got involved with Michael.
Michael would seek out avenues of sleep helpers, Dr. Metzger said. “That’s was another aspect of the secrecy.’
Metzger: I never knew what he was doing at times that he wasn’t in LA, and probably he did things in LA I don’t know or Klein doesn’t know
Michael had several aliases for confidentiality, one was Omar Arnold, Joe Michaels, there might be others I forgot about, Dr. Metzger said
Dr. Metzger first met MJ in 1993, treated him for lupus, medical issues, back issues or leg issues.
He said he doesn’t remember anything particular unusual or remarkable, expect helping him sleep.
There were many surgeries related to the injury with fire, Dr. Metzger said.
Karen Faye was the most constant person who was around MJ all the time, Dr. Metzger said. “To me she was the most constant companion.”
MJ was mostly vegetarian, except for fish, the doctor testified. “He was adamant about proper nutrition.”
I was aware he was given Demerol for procedures in the office, Dr. Metzger said.
He said he became concerned because of the pain threshold, knew something needed to be done.
Metzger: I heard concerns from Karen, Debbie, Hoefflin, Klein, Michael was doctor shopping and took pain medication a normal person didn’t
Dr. Metzger: I think I told MJ this pain threshold was not average. I do recall prescribing something in Faye’s name, I don’t remember what
Dr. Metzger: There was so much anonymity in MJ’s world. This was not around the time of MJ’s passing.
Medical record from 8/18/93- Dr. Metzger saw MJ at Century City house for temperature over 100 degrees.
He had viral influenza complaint and severe scalp pain and headache. “I remember he was very sick,” Dr. Metzger said.
NOTE: So on the day the criminal investigation started (August 17, 1993) Michael had so terrible a reaction to it that his temperature rose to over 100 Farenheit (over 38 degrees in Celsius), and he also had a severe scalp pain and a headache! The next five days were evidently no better and it was absolutely obvious that Michael was too sick for the Dangerous tour, however he did have to go even despite his requests to put it off.
What also struck me is that Michael was so susceptive that he began to feel pain even when it was at its lowest – at grades 10, 9 and 8 while generally people react to it when pain rises to the level as high as 3,4 or 5. Well, some people have very thick skin and some people’s skin is thin. This is probably why Michael so easily cried at seeing other people’s suffering – he felt their pain almost in the same way as his own while the thick-skinned simply laughed it off.
Elavil was used for sleep, raise the pain threshold, the doctor said.
Aug 21, 22 and 23 of 1993: no communication from MJ or doctors, Dr. Metzger wrote on chart.
8/24/93: Dr. Metzger said the message was that he was in pain. “I don’t know if medication was given to him.”
8/25/93: MJ called, sleeping problems, depression, beginning of tour. “He wasn’t able to sleep” Metzger said.
8/26 to 8/29/93- no contact
Dr. Metzger said there are several medications that are analgesics but not narcotics.
7/17/95 – seen in the office as emergency for severe chest and upper back pain, anxiety, shortness of breath.
Somewhat tearful at times related to severe pain, the doctor wrote on the chart.
There were many times he came in as emergency or at the end of the day, Dr. Metzger said.
Dr. Metzger: His neuro receptors, his brain, would detect a grade 7, 8, 10 when average individual would have 3, 4, 5.
Clearly it’s a neurochemical issue, but I don’t know exactly, he said.
Dr. Metzger said MJ had a documented arrhythmia after he collapsed during the HBO special in NY.
I don’t think it was a pain thing, I think it was exhaustion and dehydration thing.
8/25/96: patient seen/examined for world tour
The doctor said MJ needed a physical for the people in charge of the tour. Sometimes they would want a note, or form, or check list.
Medications MJ was taking at the time:
Low dose of Xanax – depression and helps sleep
Ambien – sleep only
Dalmain – very mild sleeping med
Dr. Metzger said MJ asked him to come on tour to be in his wedding.
After MJ collapsed during the HBO special, Dr. Metzger went to NYC for 3 or 4 days to be with Michael.
He was dehydrated, he had a gastroenteritis (stomach inflammation with diarrhea), Dr. Metzger testified.
Dr. Metzger said MJ lost 7 or 8 pounds after each performance, he weighed him to prove MJ needed to drink more fluids.
7/13/1997: letter from Dr. Christian Stole from Munich with lab data of Omar Arnold from 7/5/97 saying Dr. Metzger talked to professor Peter
I recall the stationary and the letter, but I don’t remember professor Peter, Dr. Metzger said.
He claimed he never discussed with the German doctors treatment for MJ.
I believe I never gave him Demerol, Dr. Metzger said.
Putnam: Did you prescribed it to him?
Dr. Metzger: That’s the same thing, no
Dr. Metzger: Demerol is addicting if used in high doses for a period of time, usually used after surgery.
People who are in constant pain require Demerol or its cousins, the doc explained.
I believe on one occasion I prescribed Vicodin, don’t remember Percocet, no Demerol, the doc recalled.
He said he prescribes Demerol in hospital setting. He had 2-3 chronic pain patients on oral Demerol. “It’s good for post-operative pain.”
Dr. Metzger said Demerol produces sedation, lethargy, could suppress their breathing, could get a rash and dependency.
I recall Hoefflin trying to get more involved in his care, Dr. Metzger testified.
Dr. Metzger: Debbie was in constant assistance when MJ was under the care of Dr. Klein. That was the beginning of their relationship.
Dr. Metzger said he didn’t have any conversation with Mrs. Jackson about MJ’s drug use. But he said he recalled discussion with Janet once.
Janet was concerned MJ’s back was going out too much and be was taking pain meds.
Dr. Metzger never discussed addition with MJ. He said he expressed he wished MJ didn’t use pain medication when he saw Drs. Arnie or Steve.
Dr. Metzger: I think I heard from Arnie he was also trying to reduce the pain meds, but he just accommodated the situation, I guess.
Dr. Metzger never participated in any intervention to help MJ quit drugs. “He liked painkillers when he was in pain,” he said.
I saw that with back issues, knee issues, headaches, he said. “It worked, he was a big baby, he didn’t want any pain.”
Dr. Metzger is not aware of MJ seeing pain specialist, never recommended one.
The doctor was never aware of MJ’s use of Propofol. “I was never aware of anyone using that medication other than Murray.”
Sept 18, 2002: insurer sent somebody to Dr. Metzger’s office to see him draw MJ’s blood for lab test.
MJ was taking no meds except MS Contin for severe back pain. It’s a narcotic, cousin of Demerol, the doc explained.
Dr. Metzger: Over the years, MJ had numerous plastic surgeries, some a, some b, some nasal.
Dr. Metzger: I didn’t know in advance about the great majority of his nasal surgery.
June 2003: MJ to have anesthesia for collagen injection, pre-op examination by Metzger.
Dr Metzger: That was the first time to my knowledge that he was given anesthesia for collagen. They must’ve planned major amount of collagen
Dr. Metzger does not recall any other patients needing clearance for collagen injection.
Putnam asked if that happens frequently: “Virtually never,” Dr. Metzger responded.
Dr. Metzger said he would often ask MJ who was prescribing him drugs.
He was secretive about medicine, secretive about procedures, secretive about all that stuff.
Dr. Metzger: I was worried someone would give something that would mix with something else.
Dr. Metzger: He took great joy in making it a surprise to everyone. I don’t think he thought it was serious.
The doctor said MJ’s knowledge about medications was not really sophisticate. He knew what he wanted done, though.
June 12, 2008: Dr. Metzger said he did not see MJ for 5 years. MJ called.
The doc said he sounded alert and when not under stress he takes Tylenol pm for sleep.
I was shocked to hear from Michael, that he was in Vegas, Dr. Metzger said.
I don’t recall him calling for a prescription, I was really happy to hear from him, the doc said.
Dr. Metzger: I personally missed him, liked seeing Michael and dealing with him.
Dr. Metzger: He was great, a little more boisterous than his normal self, sounded great.
NOTE: Next comes an extremely important note. When not under stress Michael could sleep with the help of Tylenol. However under stress sleep for him was almost impossible – Dr. Metzger says that “God only knows what he needed to sleep”. So by this sign alone we can imagine what kind of stress AEG drove Michael into by their mistreatment, humiliation and excessive demands of him.
Those who diffidently say that Michael should have sought professional help for his insomnia will probably be interested to know that he tried even hypnosis and acupuncuture, but it didn’t work either.
Normally he could sleep with Tylenol pm, Dr. Metzger explained. “Under stress, God only knows what he needed to sleep.”
Next time they spoke was Feb 26, 2009. That’s when MJ told him about upcoming major events in Europe and London.
I think it was more of an anxiety call, how he was going to deal with all the 30-50 shows, the doc said.
Dr. Metzger: I think he was fearful because this is it, he needed to do something he had never done before.
Dr. Metzger: He had a lot of pressure from himself, media and people who he was working for.
He wanted to redeem MJ, the doctor explained. “To redeem his image, he felt this was it, and he wanted to go out with a flash.”
Dr. Metzger: I think he was still terribly hurt about the criminal trial and accusations.
Dr. Metzger: He was one of the most recognized names in the world and I think he wanted to stay that way.
The doctor said MJ was excited and scared about “This Is It.” It was a positive call, an informational call, he remembered.
The doctor said they talked about some different maneuvers. “I suggested hypnosis, he tried acupuncture years ago and it didn’t work.”
Dr. Metzger said it was nutritious and hydration concern.” I was really reminding him about the ordeal he was about to face.”
Putnam: When you saw the announcement, what did you think?
Dr. Metzger: He looked great!
Dr. Metzger: He seemed in good shape, it seemed very exciting to him.
Metzger said MJ would be in London, maybe he should look for a sleep physiologist there to help him. He said MJ didn’t think he needed one.
MJ never mentioned Dr. Murray to Dr. Metzger, never met him until the criminal trial.
Dr. Metzger: I do remember saying ‘we’re going to help you find someone to help you sleep during these performances.’
The doctor said MJ had some chronic back pain off and on. There was no discussion about Demerol.
April 18, 2009– Dr. Metzger visited MJ at Carolwood home. “Michael called me, and said he wanted me to come visit him. I was ecstatic!”
I missed him, wanted to see the kids and how they were growing up, was very close to the children when young, the doc testified.
Dr. Metzger said he recalled they let MJ sleep late, began rehearsal at 11/11:30am. But worked late and MJ had trouble sleeping afterwards
He was excited and stressed, it was a huge task, Dr. Metzger said.
He was excited to do a great job, excited to come back into the public arena in good light. The doc said MJ joked about getting older, 49
Dr. Metzger: He looked great, he looked trim. You can’t say skinny because he was muscular. He was ready to go.
The doctor said he expected MJ to have a profound sleep issue during the tour.
We talked about someone in London, he never mentioned he already had someone on board, he explained.
Dr. Metzger said he talked to some doctors at Cedars, asked if anyone had recommendation of sleep physician in London.
He wanted some intravenous medicine that would put him to sleep, Dr. Metzger testified. “I can’t sleep without something special.
The doctor alerted him about potential life threatening: he could overdose, allergic reaction in a hotel, could be given wrong medication.
It just isn’t the right thing to do Dr Metzger told MJ. He said it was a 5-10 minute talk, and he had no concept whether he was successful
This was the last time Dr. Metzger saw MJ.
He had great fears about responsibility of tour: dehydration, back injury and sleeping.
Dr. Metzger: I had used the expression “juice” because MJ would use that, it was a nickname he used for sleeping meds.
Dr. Metzger: It was definitely a word he made up years ago. He used the word not often but when things got difficult.
The doc told MJ he was going to find people to help then drove off putting the top of his convertible down. He said the kids loved his car
Putnam read names of several physicians and asked Dr. Metzger if he knew them. “I told you he was a doctor shopper,” Dr. Metzger said.
The doctor said he purges records after people don’t go back for 3, 4 years. He said he never altered MJ’s medical records.
Dr. Metzger said Dr. Hoefflin wrote a plan, 20, 30, 40 pages long, to help MJ with his nutrition and medication. “I think I threw it away.”
Back from twitter jail…. Here’s the rest of Dr. Metzger’s video testimony. Trial resumes today at 10 am PT.
Dr Metzger said he had a very close relationship with Michael and the children. “Whenever I was with them, I have seen a lot of interaction”
Q: Did he love his children?
Q: His children loved him?
A: Same thing
He loved his mother greatly, Dr. Metzger said. “I’ve seen him generous to strangers, to hospitals, institutions, people on the street…”
MJ has been generous to me, cordial to my family, a real compassionate human being, the doctor said.
Q: Was he generous to his children?
Q: Generous to his mother?
A: I think so
Dr. Metzger: MJ was shy, but yet not really shy, I think the shy was an act. Fun to be around most of the time.
Dr. Metzger: I know his love and care for humanity. I just viewed him as a very wonderful, special person.
Dr. Metzger: I never saw him be demeaning to anybody, always trying to be generous and kind.
Dr. Metzger said he was surprised Dr. Forecast going along on tour with MJ then Dr Ratner on HIStory tour and yet another doctor on TII tour
That concluded video testimony of Dr. Metzger. After the break, Marvin Putnam told the jurors AEG has rested their case.
The video deposition of Dr. Metzger was followed by the testimonies of some rebuttal witnesses from the Plaintiffs’ side.
Detective Scott Smith who interviewed Kathy Jorrie prior to Murray’s trial was absolutely positive that she told him that even the initial stage of the tour would last for 2 or 3 years. This was something Kathy Jorrie absolutely denied in her several days of testimony at the AEG trial.
Jacksons‘ attorneys began their rebuttal case. Their first witness was LAPD Detective Scott Smith. Brian Panish did direct examination.
Det. Smith is employed by LAPD. Currently assigned to Robbery Homicide Unit. He has been there for approximately 3 years.
He knows Det. Orlando Martinez, within the same department. He has worked on more than 200 homicide investigations.
He was working the day MJ died. He was notified to go to UCLAMedicalCenter along with Det. Martinez.
Det Smith brought a large binder with him. He said at UCLA he met with Jackson’s security team, police officers then went to Carolwood house
Panish: At this point, was it a death investigation or homicide?
Det. Smith: It was a death investigation.
Det. Smith said about two months later the coroner determined the death was a homicide.
He said he served subpoenas to find out motive. He got together with the District Attorneys office to investigate further.
Det. Smith: In Dr. Murray’s car we found a contract between him and AEG that also had name of Michael Jackson.
Det. Smith interviewed Kathy Jorrie. He said she had contact with Murray in regards to the contract, may had been responsible for drafting it
Det. Smith had a search warrant from the Coroner’s office to enter Dr. Murray’s car. “It was going to motive,” he said.
He said he was looking into Dr. Murray, who was more than a person of interest, he was a suspect in this case.
Det. Smith: Information that was obtained revealed that Dr. Murray financially was in ruins.
The detective said Dr. Murray’s house was about to be foreclosed, he was in rear of child support for multiple children by multiple women.
The detective interviewed Jorrie on Feb. 22, 2001, took notes. Putnam was present. “I believe he was there to see what we had to say.”
Panish showed picture of Kathy Jorrie. Det. Smith recognized her and Putnam for the record.
Det. Smith said Jorrie answered most of the questions. Putnam was standing at the back of the room.
Panish reads transcript from Jorrie’s testimony where she was asked if she told LAPD that MJ was going on a 2 to 3 year world tour.
Panish: Ms. Jorrie denied making the statement, correct?
She did state that there was going to be a world tour that would last 2 to 3 years, Det. Smith testified.
Det. Smith said he wrote the information down as part of the statement and still has it, brought it to court.
Panish: Is there a question in your mind that she said that?
Det. Smith: No question whatsoever
Ms Jorrie and Mr Putnam stated this was only the beginning that MJ would go on a world tour that would last 2 to 3 years, Det. Smith wrote
Mr Putnam and Ms. Jorrie said the European tour was just the beginning… Det. Smith typed in the police log.
He also typed: “MJ was going to do a world tour that would last 2 to 3 years.”
Det. Smith said he takes notes contemporaneously as the interview is being taken. He types the notes once back at the office.
Jorrie agreed to meet with the police, Det. Smith said. He said she was very cooperative.
Jessica Bina did cross examination then.
Det. Smith said he writes down a summary of the interview, not like a court reporter. “I’d imagine some things are missed,” he said.
Bina: Do you recall word for word what Ms. Jorrie said?
Det. Smith: I do not
Bina: Was that in any way relevant to your investigation into Dr. Murray?
Det. Smith: None whatsoever
Bina: People with financial problems could follow the law?
Det. Smith: Yes
Panish, in re-direct, asked if contract between AEG and Murray drew his attention to the figure the doc was going to be paid. Det. said yes
Panish: You had serious concerns about that contract and Dr. Murray’s financial issues?
Det. Smith: Yes
Panish: You didn’t know anything about how much money Ms. Jorrie had been paid by AEG, right, sir?
Det. Smith: No
Panish: They didn’t tell you that, right?
Det. Smith: No, they did not
Panish: You have no recollection whatsoever of Jorrie or Putnam saying it was a *potential* world tour?
Det. Smith: No, sir.
Bina, in re-cross: Does it matter to you it was MJ was paying Dr. Murray?
Det. Smith: No, ma’am
Bina: You were not investigating AEG Live?
Det. Smith: No, ma’am
Bina: It wasn’t who was paying, just the amount?
Det. Smith: Definitely the amount
Interview was approximately an hour, Det. Smith said. He said he was given copy of the contract.
Bina: Between and Ms. Jorrie, who would know the contract better?
Det. Smith: Of course Ms. Jorrie
Witness is excused, judge adjourned court until today at 10 am PT. Outside the presence of the jury, Panish said he wants to call Dr Metzger. Judge inquired extensively about what Dr. Metzger will say that it’s new. She doesn’t want cumulative testimony.
Kevin Boyle argued Dr. Metzger was to be called by AEG live. Putnam countered that they should’ve done it in their case in chief.
Judge said she’s willing to give Panish one hour to question Dr. Metzger, who will come as live witness. Court resumes at 10 am PT.
The next day Dr. Metzger turned into a witness for the Plaintiffs and testified on the stand. Over here he explained what “doctor shopping” meant in their professional slang. We find that he himself advised Michael to seek hotel doctors as MJ travelled a lot and needed doctors for the children and himself (for example, to attend to his dehydration as he lost 7-8 pounds after each concert) . Dr. Metzger suggested hotel doctors because hotels usually hire qualified physicians.
We also learn that same as vitiligo Michael’s lupus was incurable and very scary to him – if it had spread to his face it would have led to his disfigurement, and on top of his lupus came the burn. The pain from the burn (and follow-up scalp surgeries) was unbearable. Michael’s other health issues were his back and his neck. Dr. Metzger said that the majority of Michael’s surgeries were a necessity, and even in the worst of times he never saw him intoxicated by the pain medication.
Dr. Metzger thinks that MJ’s Demerol dependency was restarted by Dr. Forecast and clearly has no clue that the first doctor who ruined all their efforts to wean Michael of opioids in 1993 was Gongaware’s friend Dr. Finkelstein who thought of nothing better to start the Dangerous tour with but put Michael on a morphine drip for 24 hours!
Dr. Metzger didn’t give Michael narcotics – he was weaning him off of them and this is exactly the reason why Debbie Rowe approached him for help. He said that Michael never wanted to get high and never used recreational drugs.
On History tour there were no drugs whatsoever, but in the 2nd half of the tour MJ’s sleeplessness became a problem and Dr. Metzger made a plan what to do before flights and after the concerts to help Michael sleep and sent the plan to everyone including Gongaware. Actually to Gongaware Dr. Metzger even talked about Michael’s sleeplessness though now Gongaware feigns complete ignorance of the matter!
So Gongaware was perfectly aware of how to arrange the tour so that it should not be stressful for Michael – it was necessary to set the shows with space big enough between the dates to allow Michael time to recuperate and sleep. And the fact that in 2009 he fully defied all those recommendations means that he simply didn’t give a damn for Michael and his most basic interests.
Michael was right when he said that AEG treated him like he’s a machine.
And then Dr. Metzger said the most crucial words in the whole of the trial – he found Michael much more stressed out in April 2009 in comparison with February the same year and the reason for it was the 50 shows set by AEG!
So just as we thought, this was the main factor that deprived Michael of his sleep….
Thursday SEPTEMBER 19, 2013. DAY 82
Day 82: Jackson family vs AEG trial — Week 20 is currenlty under way. Judge broke session for lunch.
Before the jury came in, attorneys argued about the scope of Dr. Allan Metzger’s testimony. At 10:30 am PT, jurors entered the courtroom.
Katherine Jackson is present with grandson (and bodyguard) Trent.. She is in floolength purple dress with purple and grey print jacket.
Judge Yvette Palazuelos told the jury she’s allowing Jacksons attorneys to reopen their case briefly.
Plaintiffs called Dr. Allan Metzger. Attorney Deborah Chang did direct examination. He said he was traveling, returned 2-3 weeks ago.
He gave his deposition in September of 2012, about 3 years after Michael Jackson died. He worked with MJ for 25-30 years.
The doctor explained he didn’t have all the medical records when he gave deposition, they were spread around to coroners, attorneys.
When Chang asked if Dr. Metzger reviewed trial transcript of Debbie Rowe, AEG attorneys objected and asked for a sidebar.
Side note: Dr. Metzger and Debbie Rowe have the same attorney, Eric George, the son of former California Chief of Justice Ronald George.
Dr. Metzger treated other celebrities during his 46-year medical career. He said it’s not unusual for them to use aliases.
The doctor said he became very close to Michael Jackson. He started seeing him in 1983 for discoid lupus.
After, there was the burn incident. “His pain became unbearable,” he explained.
Dr. Metzger’s daughter was the first one to visit Neverland. She went as part of a charity organization visit, DreamStreet Foundation.
The doctor said Neverland was a place of peace. He visited it 12-15 times, sometimes with friends, family, help feed the kids. MJ supervised
Dr. Metzger: MJ dealt with a lot of adversity with generally a positive attitude.
I don’t know anyone can share his degree of charity, the doctor said.
Dr. Metzger said sometimes MJ would ask about a disease he wanted to know about, but generally didn’t discuss with him the charities.
Normally, Michael was very protective of his short films. But he trusted some people, and Dr. Metzger was one of them.
Over the next several years, he had a terrible burn, issues with his back and neck, he said.
The discoid lupus was very scary to him, Dr. Metzger said, and the burns came on top of the discoid.
The discoid could travel from his scalp to his face, leading to disfigurement.
Dr. Metzger said Lionel Richie approached MJ and ion one day he wrote “We Are The World” song. Richie did the music.
He and Lionel were able to put so many influential people for charity, Dr. Metzger said.
Chang played part of “We Are The World” video clip, with major music stars singing it. The song raised money for humanitarian efforts.
Dr. Metzger worked together with Dr. Klein, Sasaki and Hoefflin. MJ’s diseases were incurable (lupus and vitiligo).
He said he did pre-operative examination before MJ’s surgeries.
I always liked to review what kind of medications he was taking to make sure there was no interaction, Dr. Metzger testified.
Chang: Would you say the first 10 years you saw him were very difficult?
Dr. Metzger: Yes, very difficult
Chang asked about Metzger’s reference that MJ was “doctor shopping.” He explained it was a slang doctors used by the doctors who treated MJ
Dr. Metzger: When he was out of our presence, because he travelled so much, he would use hotel doctor.
Dr. Metzger: MJ had to shop around in the city for quality physicians for himself and his children.
Dr. Metzger said he was always involved in MJ’s medical care because he wanted to make sure MJ was safe.
Michael was very private, Dr. Metzger opined. He said often he wanted to know about his medical care, but often didn’t.
He’d rely on others and had faith in the medical profession, Dr. Metzger said. “He often bounced things off me.”
Chang: Was your belief he looked for doctors to get drugs?
Dr. Metzger: No
Chang: Do you believe he was your friend so he could get prescription drugs from you?
Dr. Metzger: Absolutely not! I never gave him Demerol or any hard narcotics.
Dr. Metzger: I worked with Karen Faye, Debbie Rowe, Grace Rwamba.
Dr. Metzger: I was in touch, not as spies, but wanted to have fingers on the pulse of what was going on with my buddy.
On numerous occasions, Debbie Rowe would talk to Dr. Metzger when she thought other doctors were giving MJ too many painkillers.
He said he thinks it’s because Rowe thought he could do something about it.
Dr. Metzger: No. I saw him groggy but never drunk.
Chang: Did you personally ever see MJ under the influence?
I did not ever ever see him intoxicated with too many pain medications, he said.
Dr. Metzger: I wasn’t concerned about anesthesia, I was always concerned about too many surgeries.
Dr. Metzger said he would agree that MJ needed the majority of the surgeries he underwent, specially after the burn.
Dr. Metzger said he did several examinations of Michael for insurance prior to tours.
Metzger: I was informed he’d (Forecast) be taking over the medical role, and I would not be needed because of the distance
Dr. Metzger got a call during the tour. There were couple of issues related to dehydration and Dr. Forecast administering Demerol.
Sleep issues: That was the first time I was aware of the issue, didn’t have problems in Bad tour, the doctor said.
Dr. Metzger: I think we had 2-3 discussions on how to lower the dose of Demerol
Chang: Did you try to work with Forecast to resolve the issue?
Dr. Metzger: I don’t know if he didn’t follow my recommendations or it didn’t work.
Dr. Metzger said he watched MJ’s short video “Ghost.” Chang showed photo of Dr. Metzger and Michael Jackson as the white mayor.
Chang: Did he enjoy going out incognito?
Dr. Metzger: Oh, he loved it!
The doctor said MJ always had a message in his short film, that humans should be human beings to each other.
Chang played clip of “Heal the World” film and “Earth Song.” Dr. Metzger watched them with somber face, shook his head to the beat at times
It’s hard to see that, Dr. Metzger expressed after movies were played, somewhat emotional.
Metzger said MJ approached him to go on “HIStory” tour. He thought it would be fun, wanted doc to be best man on his wedding to Debbie Rowe
Chang showed letter from Metzger to insurance company that he’d be accompanying MJ, cast members and crew (180-190 people) in HIStory tour
Dr. Metzger: I basically asked for nothing (payment). I knew this would be an honor, would bill based on being needed.
He said he would’ve charged his normal house call rate, if they needed him during the tour.
In the tour, his main responsibility was with Michael Jackson. He said he was never approached by a promoter/producer with a contract.
Dr. Metzger said he never had the issue where he had to put MJ in danger to continue the tour.
I never put in jeopardy his health for performance, he said.
Chang showed Murray’s contract to Metzger and asked if he was ever given a contract that says doctor could be terminated by the producer.
I’ve never seen a document like this, Dr. Metzger said.
He said he would’ve never signed a document that had that clause in it, it’s a conflict of interest.
Chang: Were would your allegiance fall, with the producer or patient?
Dr. Metzger: Of course the patient, regardless if it was MJ or not
Dr. Metzger said he knew MJ was going to get married to Debbie Rowe during the HIStory tour. During the tour he found out Rowe was pregnant.
Chang: Did he enjoy being a father?
Dr. Metzger: Very much so
The doctor said MJ always wanted to be a father.
Dr. Metzger: The relationship was extremely loving, non fearful.
Dr. Metzger: I see he did a wise thing over the years of not exposing their faces, so they could go out and not be recognized.
It was a beautiful, caring, solid relationship, Dr. Metzger explained.
The doctor said he saw several MJ shows, but nothing like what he saw in Sydney, Australia. Chang played snippet of the show.
Dr. Metzger saw all the shows in Australia. He said MJ would lose 7-8 pounds after each performance.
In his deposition, Dr. Metzger said he didn’t remember who Paul Gongaware was. He said he didn’t have all his records with him.
Chang: As the HIStory tour doctor, were you concerned with MJ’s sleeping disorder during the second leg of the tour?
Dr. Metzger: Yes, I was
The doctor wrote a letter detailing a plan to help MJ sleep. He said he sent a copy of it to the producer, MJ, Karen Faye, Debbie Rowe.
I know that Michael can’t sleep when he’s creating, or after he was creating, he always wanted to make it better, Dr. Metzger recalled.
The doctor said he didn’t think there was a plan for Dangerous tour. He didn’t think a good job was done then.
Dangerous was cut short so MJ could enter rehab. Dr. Metzger said Dr. Forecast gave MJ too much Demerol.
I wanted to be proactive and ready, the doctor said about HIStory tour. He testified he sent a copy of the plan to Gongaware, as producer
MJ was really tired and very frustrated, he felt he wasn’t performing well, Dr. Metzger said about his sleepiness.
Chang: In the 26 years you worked with MJ did he ever ask you for Propofol before the HIStory tour?
Metzger: Those words were never said by MJ
Chang: Did MJ ever ask you to find someone to infuse anesthesia in him?
Dr. Metzger: No
When not under stress, the doctor said MJ could sleep on Tylenol PM, which generally worked.
Dr. Metzger: I had one phone conversation in 2009 and I visited him in April 2009.
Chang: At that time, did MJ ask you for any narcotic or prescription drugs?
Dr. Metzger: No
Chang: Did he ever seek painkillers to get high?
Dr. Metzger: No, I don’t believe this was in any way recreational
Dr. Metzger said MJ was more stressed when he saw him in April 2009 than during the phone call in Feb. 2009.
The doctor said the stress was related to “Can I do 50 shows?”
MJ indicated he could not sleep, the doc said. “This time he was in a totally different place,” Dr. Metzger said.
The doctor said he had free access to the house and the children. “I was ecstatic to see the children,” the doctor said.
He was allowed upstairs at Carolwood, did not see any locked doors, medical equipment or oxygen tanks.
I had a feeling that any IV given in a home is potentially precarious, Dr. Metzger explained.
After leaving the house, Dr. Metzger said he called a few colleagues to see if there was any other medication or avenues to help MJ sleep.
He spoke with the head of anesthesia at Cedars Sinai, since anesthesiologists have to manage pain and sleep.
I needed advice getting him to sleep and I also asked about a doctor in London, Dr. Metzger explained.
I don’t remember if I called back or just relay the message I couldn’t help, the doctor said.
Dr. Metzger: Basically he said any IV treatment is potentially dangerous, that he didn’t know anyone who would administer IV anesthesia.
April 18, 2009 was the last time Dr. Metzger saw MJ alive.
Dr Metzger: One of the things he discussed was Diprivan.
Chang showed Dr. Metzger the picture of MJ during fitting on June 19, 2009.
Chang: Did he look like this?
Dr. Metzger: Oh no, not at all
C: Would you’ve been concerned?
Dr. M: Oh yes, oh yes
Judge ordered jurors back at 1:30p PT to have a security meeting. Attorneys ordered back at 2:00p PT.
Around 1:40 pm PT, jurors were escorted by sheriff’s department. We’re told they had security brief for sequestration during deliberation.
Outside the presence of the jury, Deborah Chang argued she doesn’t think it’s appropriate for the court to sanction.
Chang gave 38 pages of Debbie Rowe’s testimony to Dr. Metzger to read.
Judge had ruled that non-retained expert witnesses should not be given copies of other witnesses’ testimony.
Chang: I don’t think it was intentional violation of court’s order. I believe we acted in good faith
Judge: The good faith exception, huh?
Judge then precluded plaintiffs from asking anything related to the issue German doctors and Propofol used to sleep.
Bina: He already testified without the taint of someone else’s testimony. Even if she acted in good faith, it irreparably tainted his memory
Bina said she’s asking for fair remedy here, which is keep this part out of Dr. Metzger’s out.
Bina said Chang corrupted the witness by giving another witness’ version of the events so he was able to taylor his answer according to hers
Cahan said the 38 pages of Rowe’s testimony detailed the set up the anesthesiologist in German, logistic, what drugs have been provided.
There’s no other way to fix this other than keep it out, Cahan urged the judge.
Panish: What we did, show him the testimony, is appropriate. Non-retained experts can be refreshed.
This is about refreshing his recollection with someone else’s memory, Bina argued.
Panish: Defense will argue MJ had long history of use of Propofol. The evidence here is that Propofol was used in connection with surgeries.
Bina: We can never get back what Dr. Metzger’s memory actually was.
Judge: Ok, I’m ready to rule. I’m excluding it.
Jurors entered the court at 2:41 pm. Dr. Allan Metzger resumed testimony. Deborah Chang continued the questions.
Chang: Do you recall having a conversation with Paul Gongaware about MJ’s inability to sleep?
Dr. Metzger: Yes, I do.
No further question. Kathryn Cahan, for AEG, doing cross examination.
Cahan inquired about the time of deposition whether Dr. Metzger had MJ’s medical files.
Dr. Metzger: Some of my records were given to my attorney at the time, didn’t keep medical records.
There may be an insurance file and one major file, the doctor said. His counsel did not give his medical record prior to his deposition.
Dr. Metzger said that at the time of his deposition, he received a great amount of the file back, but it was out of order and missing pages.
I told the truth to the best of my ability, Dr. Metzger said about his deposition and his trial testimony.
The doctor said he looked at some of MJ’s medical records over the past several days. “I did not look at 26 years of medical records.”
Dr. Metzger said he had, in bits and pieces, taken care of other Jackson’s family members, including MJ’s children.
The doctor was very close to MJ and moderately close to the children.
Q: And it seems like you also had a very close relationship with Michael’s children, correct?
In depo Dr. Metzger’s said:
Dr. Metzger said he had a moderately close relationship with the children in comparison with his relationship to MJ.
He said there were times the children went to his house for dinner, went to the movies.
Dr. Metzger met Katherine Jackson many years ago, he said. He provided some medical care to her last summer.
He gave Mrs. Jackson advice about traveling because of her health.
Dr. Metzger: I advised her to fly to Arizona for a concert. I do not know where she was in Arizona, I did not advise her to go to a spa.
Janet and Randy asked me to evaluate her health, Dr. Metzger said. “I’ve previously taken care of Janet many years ago.”
I’m well acquainted with the immediate Jackson family and some other members, the doctor said.
I viewed Michael as a very good friend of mine and I think it was vice-versa, Dr. Metzger testified.
Dr. Metzger said he spoke with Chang on the phone about 2 weeks ago and met her in person with his attorney 2-3 nights ago for an hour.
Doctor said he was out of town from middle of July until mid-Aug. Early July he advised plaintiffs’ counsel about his absence.
Dr. Metzger first spoke with plaintiffs’ attorneys about testifying back in April or May. He has been subpoenaed.
Dr. Metzger said Chang told him she had an attorney to refer that she thought would suit his needs. She recommended Eric George.
Cahan: Did plaintiffs’ counsel help you find an attorney?
Dr. Metzger: Yes
C: How much does he charge?
Dr. M: I don’t know
Cahan: Are plaintiffs’ paying for your attorney in this case?
Dr. Metzger: I believe so.
The doctor said he reached out to Debbie Rowe after seeing in the media that she testified in this case. He wanted to give her some support.
At that time, Rowe also said Eric George was a good attorney.
Cahan asked if the doc is charging plaintiffs anything to be here today.
Dr. Metzger: I’ll be sending a bill at the end of the trial.
Dr. Metzger: I believe it’s reasonable for my time reviewing the records, giving deposition and testimony in this case.
The doctor said he’s spent about 6 hours of his time. Cahan asked how much he charges and he said he was not comfortable disclosing his rate
Cahan asked the judge to order him to answer, which judge did. He said he charges approximately $1,000/hour.
There were no negotiations, I basically said this is my fee and they said ok, Dr. Metzger explained.
As to his attorney, Metzger said he knows there’s an arrangement for payment by the plaintiffs and there’s also an arrangement between the two
Cahan: Have you spoken with Jackson’s family members about this lawsuit?
Dr. Metzger: Basically no
My recollection I did not speak with any single member of the family about this lawsuit, Dr. Metzger testified.
The doctor said his relationship with Michael Jackson was the closest he has ever had with any patient. He went to Neverland 12-15 times.
He went to MJ’s CenturyCity house, saw MJ at Dr. Klein’s house and office, saw him in NY, Australia, best man of his wedding to Ms. Rowe.
He was both, Dr. Metzger said about MJ being a friend and patient. “I always had his best interest at heart.”
I don’t believe I ever crossed any ethical boundaries with Michael Jackson, Dr. Metzger said.
The doctor said he understands the Hippocratic Oath to have his patients first, do no harm.
Dr. Metzger: In my view, I always maintained proper boundaries. A lot of physicians would not socialize with patients.
Dr. Metzger: MJ was the most social I was with my patients.
He really didn’t like taking medicine Metzger said. “I think he needed medicine because he had low pain threshold when undergoing surgery”
He needed it, he didn’t take it for joy, Dr. Metzger said.
Dr. Metzger said he believes he never gave MJ Demerol. “Absolutely not,” he responded to the question.
Dr. Metzger: At some juncture on that tour (Dangerous), I believe I arranged for Karen, Debbie or security team to bring some medicine to MJ
Cahan: Was that in Aug 1993?
Dr. Metzger: I don’t recall.
Cahan: Do you remember sending pain medication?
Dr. Metzger: Yes, there was some form of pain medication
Cahan: Do you remember sending some Demerol?
Dr. Metzger: I don’t personally believe I prescribed MJ Demerol. It could’ve come from Dr. Klein if it was in the package.
I don’t remember ever writing a prescription for Michael about Demerol, Dr. Metzger explained.
Dr. Metzger admitted he used Karen Faye’s name to prescribe medicine for MJ.
I’ve done it on rare occasions, almost exclusively for MJ and Janet, Dr. Metzger said.
Cahan: Even though you knew it’s illegal?
Dr. Metzger: Yes
Dr. M: To protect their anonymity
Cahan: Have you ever been reprimanded or disciplined for writing prescriptions on someone else’s name?
Chang asked for a sidebar.
Outside jury’s presence there was discussion about Cahan asking if Metzger was reprimanded for writing prescription under other people’s name
Bina: Dr. Metzger pled no contest to a misdemeanor for misconduct. There’s a petition for suspension of Dr. Metzger’s medical license.
Bina argued the appropriate remedy should be to strike the question and bar the line of questioning.
Cahan apologized saying she misunderstood the court order. She said she thought it had to do with other patients other than MJ and KJ.
Panish: She did it intentionally, was setting him up. It was a premeditated plan. It’s not admissible, she severely prejudiced this witness
Panish wants an admonition read and wants to be allowed to talk about the German doctors.
Chang argued Cahan did it in bad faith. “The jury is left with the idea that he’s a criminal, that he’d do anything for MJ,” she said.
I honestly don’t know what to do to fix it, Chang said. “I just want to throw myself on the floor and cry.”
Judge will read an instruction to the jury that Cahan’s question was improper and they should disregard it or anything implied by it.
Judge admonished Cahan not to ask anything about it.
Dr. Metzger said he travelled to Australia with Debbie Rowe, was there for about 2 weeks. This was HIStory tour.
Dr Metzger never rejoined the tour after he came back to LA. “My schedule and MJ particularly wanted me there for the wedding and Australia”
He didn’t need me and I didn’t need to be there, he said. Dr. Metzger recalled treating MJ for mild dehydration while in Australia.
The doc talked about the plan he wrote to help MJ sleep. He said MJ gave permission for him to share plan with Rowe, Faye and security guards
Michael needed to be told what to do, Dr. Metzger said. The plan detailed what to do before flights and after performances.
He was uncomfortable and a little fearful of flying, Dr. Metzger explained.
Cahan: Did doctor shopping included Mr. Jackson segregating physicians?
Dr. Metzger: Often I’d not hear about other physicians. I’d hear from security or the ladies if it was serious.
At times, I think he probably did keep things from me because he didn’t want me to worry, Dr. Metzger testified.
Dr. Metzger: I always asked him to go thru the hotel, because the hotel had responsibility to hire competent physician.
Cahan: Do you think MJ wanted to keep information from one doctor to another so he could more or less do what he wanted?
Dr. Metzger: No
Cahan played video deposition in the insurance company lawsuit where Dr. Metzger said MJ would segregate his doctors.
Dr. Metzger on depo: I think he didn’t want to appear he was doctor shopping.
Dr. Metzger: I think he didn’t want one medical group to know about another medical group so he could, more or less, do what he wanted.
Judge adjourned trial until 10:00 am PT tomorrow for jurors. Attorneys are ordered at 9:30 am PT. Dr.
Metzger to resume testimony at 10 am.
PLANAS OF NOW, ALL SUBJECT TO CHANGE: – Witness done tomorrow morning, arguments and
motions in the pm – Jury to be instructed on MONDAY
Closing plaintiff – TUESDAY – Closing defendant – WEDNESDAY – Rebuttal plaintiff – THURSDAY
And here is the last day of Dr. Matzger’s testimony and the last day of testimonies at the trial:
Friday SEPTEMBER 20, 2013. DAY 83
Helllo from the courthouse in downtown LA. Day 83 of Jackson family vs AEG trial has concluded. Unless something changes, no more witnesses!
Outside the presence of the jury, attorneys discussed several issues with the judge in the morning, including jury instructions.
Katherine Jackson was present in the courtroom to watch the last day of testimony. She’s wearing a blue silk suit.
Dr. Allan Metzger resumed his testimony. Kathryn Cahan, attorney from AEG, did cross examination.
Cahan asked if the doctor met with Jacksons attorneys and other things he did last night to prepare for his testimony.
Tried to sleep and chilled out, Dr. Metzger responded.
Dr. Metzger said he will bill the plaintiffs $1,000/hour for testifying today. He’ll bill 6 or 7 hours for the time on the stand yesterday.
Cahan asked if Dr Metzger were to do this for 8 hours/day he’d make $240 thousand a month. “I’d never do this 8 hours a day,” he answered
The doctor said he retired earlier this year from seeing patients.
Metzger: I told MJ I wanted to have as much information as I could about his health wherever he was. Sometimes I got it, sometimes I didn’t
Cahan: Did you ever discuss with MJ your concerns about doctor shopping?
Dr. Metzger: Yes
Dr. Metzger said he explains to all of his patients he wants to know all the doctors they are seeing due to potential harm of medications.
Cahan: Michael didn’t take your warnings seriously, did he?
Dr. Metzger: At times he did.
Cahan: Regarding the risks of taking medication this way, was it your impression he didn’t take you seriously?
Dr. Metzger: I believe he took it seriously, but I believe he forgot it at times since he was too busy.
Cahan played video deposition of Dr. Metzger where he said he was frustrated that other doctors were giving MJ medication he didn’t know.
I don’t think he took it very seriously because he trusted doctors to take care of him, Dr. Metzger said in the depo.
I think he really didn’t take it seriously he could have a reaction from taking different medications, Dr. Metzger testified.
Cahan: You said MJ took great joy in making it a secret to everybody and that it was part of his mystique, correct?
Metzger: It was part of his privacy, his mystique perhaps. There were concerns of MJ seeing several doctors. I’d not call it doctor shopping
Cahan played Metzger’s video deposition where he said he heard concerns from Debbie, Karen, Hoefflin, Klein that Michael was doctor shopping
He took pain medication the average person wouldn’t, Dr. Metzger testifies in his deposition.
Metzger said privacy and secrecy played a role in MJ’s medical care. He didn’t recall seeing pill bottles with doctor’s name he didn’t know
At times, MJ was secretive about the doctors he was seeing, the medications he was taking and the procedures he was having, Dr. Metzger said
Dr. Metzger said he had no restrictions of where to go in MJ’s Carolwood home during the April 18, 2009 visit.
Cahan played video of deposition where the doctor said he never went upstairs at Michael’s house.
But he said in court he went to the second floor’s landing to get a cat and saw into all the rooms.
Cahan asked which one was the truth, whether he went upstairs or not. Dr. Metzger said he did not go upstairs with Michael.
Dr. Metzger: I went up to the landing where you could see the room where the kids said Michael was and the doors were wide open.
Dr. Metzger claimed he didn’t see any medical equipment in MJ’s house. “He was certainly anxious and desperate over sleep,” he said.
Cahan: How MJ looked on April 18, 2009?
Metzger: He looked fit, he was bouncing, the same Michael I knew, lucid
There was no suggestion of medication I could detect, Dr. Metzger recalled.
He said Michael was always trim and muscular. “He was ready to go, except worried about sleep,” Dr. Metzger testified.
I think he was handling stress better than I thought he would he said. “I’ve seeing him before other tours, he seemed more anxious”
He seemed in charge and ready to go, the doctor said. “He was excited, anxious.”
Nothing further from defendants.
In re-direct, Dr. Metzger said that on April 18, 2009 he was not aware of MJ having any intravenous medication.
Chang asked if on April 18, 2009 MJ looked skeletal like the picture from June 19, 2009. “Absolutely did not look like that,” he responded.
Regarding Chang’s recommending Eric George to be his attorney, Dr. Metzger said Chang was enthusiastic about him.
In fact, he said, Chang didn’t even recommend that the doctor talked to anyone else. Dr. Metzger and Chang met with George for about 1 hour
Chang: Is it terrifying to testify in front of the entire world?
Metzger: Yes. I wanted to make sure I knew how to answer properly about MJ
Chang said she wanted to clear up that her firm is not paying Dr. Metzger’s attorney Eric George.
Dr. Metzger: I have not received any bills from Eric George yet
She asked if he had any reason to believe that was not true. He said no.
Dr. Metzger said $1,000/hour is the standard rate he charges any attorney when he does depositions or testifies in court.
Dr. Metzger charged AEG $9,000 for 9 hours of deposition in this case. He said he charged the same hourly rate for the Lloyds of London depo
Chang: In the 46 years you’ve practice medicine, it the rate pretty standard for doctors?
Dr. Metzger: It’s standard in my office.
Dr. Metzger said the fee he charges does not influence his testimony in any way.
He said Paul Gongaware was the producer at MJ’s tour in Sydney, Australia.
Chang: Did you believe it was any secret in Australia that Michael could not sleep after the performances?
Dr. Metzger: No, I think everyone understood that. He was a perfectionist, Michael could not sleep after the shows.
Whatever he did it, no matter how magical it was, he wanted to make it more magical, Dr. Metzger opined.
Chang: Was it for the fans?
Dr. Metzger: Yes and for himself, he was a perfectionist.
Chang: When someone cannot sleep, does it make someone more anxious?
Dr. Metzger: Yes, and it lowers the pain threshold.
Chang: During the Dangerous tour in 1993 did you come to learn that too many prescription drugs were given to MJ?
Dr. Metzger: Absolutely!
Regarding prescribing medication under Karen Faye’s name, Dr. Metzger said it was Latisse for eyelashes, Rogaine and cold medicine.
As to doctor shopping, Metzger said his concern about it was in the early 90’s
He said he never prescribed Demerol under Faye’s name for MJ
I’m not aware of any doctor shopping and use of drug that was not appropriate from 1995 and later, Dr. Metzger testified.
Chang asked if Dr. Metzger had any proof MJ was taking meds from different doctors. “The only proof I had was word of mouth,” he answered.
Michael never told me about many doctors and many medications, Dr. Metzger testified.
Chang: And you didn’t have any real evidence?
Dr. Metzger: I did hear bits and pieces of medication being prescribed by other doctors in LA
Chang: You agree that you were MJ’s long time doctor and friend for 26 years?
Dr. Metzger: Yes
Chang: You met Paul Gongaware in the HIStory tour?
I was concerned about sleep issue and him being groggy, Dr. Metzger said.
As to using intravenous medication to sleep, Dr. Metzger repeated he told MJ it was dangerous and he should not do it.
Chang: Paul Gongaware never offered to pay you $150 thousand/month?
Dr. Metzger: Correct
Cahan, in re-cross: If Paul Gongaware offered you $150 thousand/month it would be less than what you’d get for being a witness at $1,000/hr?
Dr. Metzger: Yes, the math is correct, but I also said I’d not do this full time.
Dr. Metzger recalled overuse of Demerol and some sleep drug issues as being a problem during the Dangerous tour.
In 1993, when MJ went to rehab, Dr. Metzger said he learned about it either though Debbie Rowe or Karen Faye or maybe the press.
Cahan played video deposition of Dr. Metzger where he said he treated MJ after he went to rehab and never discussed it with Michael.
Cahan: Did you discuss MJ’s addiction to painkiller even after learning from the press he entered rehab and continued as his physician?
Dr. Metzger: I discussed that in the late 90’s a few times.
Cahan: Did he say he had an addiction to painkillers?
Dr. Metzger: Yes, he said that in the Dangerous tour he was addicted.
I believe I prescribed mild opioids, vicodin, for significant pain, Dr. Metzger said. This was after MJ had left rehab.
As to Latisse, the doctor said the prescription was for both MJ and Faye. He believes this was during the Dangerous tour.
Metzger said he was more involved in the 90’s than 2000’s. From 03-09, he was involved only by phone, asked about kids, minor medical issues
Dr. Metzger is excused.
Brian Panish, attorney for the Jacksons, called his next witness, attorney Eric George.
George is an attorney for 20 years. He practices civil litigation matters involving businesses.
Panish: Have you ever socialize with me, had dinners with me?
George: Not once. I’m very careful the company I keep. Everyone laughed.
He represents Debbie Rowe for the past 8 years.
Panish asked how George became Dr. Metzger’s attorney. He said he received a phone call asking if he would be willing to represent him.
Panish inquired if he was being paid by Panish’s firm to represent Dr. Metzger. George said no, nor would he accept it.
George: It would be inappropriate. I’m here to represent the witness, to tell the truth and let the chips fall wherever they may.
Putnam, in cross: When did you decide you were going to testify?
George: It was discussed yesterday after an incorrect answer was given
George said it was suggested that he was being paid about one side. “It concerned my reputation and I wanted to clear that up.”
It was something I’d never agree to, he testified.” I was glad to do it and get the record straight.
P: Did you charge him?
Putnam: Do you work for Dr. Metzger for free?
P: Are you being paid less than the regular rate?
G: Much less
Putnam: Your regular rate?
George never met Dr. Metzger before his case, but said he heard about him from Debbie Rowe.
Putnam asked if he thought it was a conflict of interest to represent Rowe and Dr. Metzger. George said there’s no conflict of interest.
I’m proud of saying that I’ve never been accused of conflict of interest or unethical conduct and I want to keep it that way, George said
Putnam asked why George agreed to represent Dr. Metzger.
One of the most important issues of this time is corporate accountability and responsibility, George said.
Putnam: You made a determination about the outcome of this case?
George: I do have strong feelings about this case, yes.
George was then excused. Plaintiffs told the court they are resting, pending some issues that are not resolved yet.
Both sides stipulated that the total attendance in the U2 concert at the Rowe Bowl on Oct 25, 2009 was approximately 97,000.
Judge adjourned trial until Monday at 10 am PT. Jurors are ordered to return to the regular courtroom then.
Unless something changes over the weekend, NO MORE WITNESSES in this case!!!!
After jurors left, Kevin Boyle tells judge in order to not lengthen the trial even further they’ll not show Sony’s raw footage of This Is It
Judge then said that Juror 7 made a comment about missing a project, or that someone gave a project away.
It’s clear she’s ready, Judge Palazuelos said, noting that it looks like jurors are ready to end this trial and resume their normal lives.
Attorneys argued plaintiffs’ motion for direct verdict on issue of Katherine Jackson being dependent on MJ.
Judge: My tentative would be to grant it.
Boyle said he agreed with judge’s position.
Plaintiffs want the judge to rule that Katherine Jackson was dependent on MJ for necessities of live.
If Mrs. Jackson is considered not to be dependent of MJ, she has no standing in bringing in this lawsuit.
Mrs. Jackson didn’t need her son’s money for necessities of life Bina argued. “For 3 years she was getting $120K/year from daughter Janet”
Standing is not established if the money from the child only enables the parent to have niceties they might otherwise afford Bina opined.
It’s a jury question as to whether the chid’s money is needed, Bina said.
Bina argued it’s not contribution to some extent, it’s whether the parent needed the money for the necessities of life.
Boyle said the support that MJ was given to Mrs. Jackson was not really disputed.
Ackerman testified that Mr. Jackson was paying for many expenses at Hayvenhurst, such as utilities, transportation, food, mortgage.
Judge asked if there was record of how money Janet gave Mrs. Jackson was spent. Her money could be for the niceties.
Bina said the law is to protect a parent who depends upon a child for necessities of life.
Bina: Jury could find Mrs Jackson was not dependent upon MJ for the necessities of life but accepted generous gift to have nicer things
Judge: The fact that he contributes it some way, it doesn’t have to be how much.
Boyle argues that the word “need ” is not in any of the case laws. It’s whether they were dependent, to some extent, for necessities of life
Judge: The fact in this case is Mrs. Jackson is an 83 year old woman, she doesn’t work, she’s dependent on her children to take care of her
Boyle said defendant’s expert admitted MJ paid Mrs. Jackson’s necessities of life.
Bina: A reasonable person could determine that earning $120 thousand a year is enough for food, clothing and shelter.
If there was no Michael Jackson at all, Mrs. Jackson would still have $120 thousand a year, Bina said.
Notwithstanding how generous MJ was to his mother, the fact is she did not need him to live, Bina argued.
Judge to rule within the hour if Katherine Jackson has standing or not.
If judge denies motion, jury will have to determine if KJ has standing before they can award her any money — what defense wants.
If judge grants it, jury won’t have to make that decision — what plaintiffs want.
Attorneys to return Monday at 9:30 am PT for more arguments. Jury will hear instructions at 10 am PT. Closing to begin on Tuesday.
We hope to see you then for complete coverage of the trial. For the latest, watch @ABC7 Eyewitness News and http://www.abc7.com
Have a safe weekend everybody! See you back on Monday for the final stretch of the trial!
Big victory in court today for Katherine Jackson. The judge just ruled the matriarch is entitled to seek compensation for the death of MJ.
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Here is a short postword to what we have just read.
Of course Dr. Metzger is covering up his back at the expense of Michael Jackson. If we are to believe Debbie Rowe Dr. Metzger was the one who suggested propofol as the last remedy for “sleep” before the final two concerts in Munich, and he could also be one of those who assured Michael that propofol was safe if properly administered – though now he is totally unwilling to admit any of it.
However the irony of the situation is that propofol is indeed safe (though it should not be used for sleep) and the fact that Michael did not die of it in Munich proves it best of all.
You probably know my point of view on the matter – it is AEG that wants to reduce the problem to propofol only, while I absolutely do not.
Essentially AEG states that if it had not been for propofol Michael would be alive now.
But this is wrong.
Forget about propofol for a second and you will see that even if there had been no propofol MJ would have died all the same – due to his lack of biological sleep which resulted from the heavy stress he was under.
So the ultimate reason for Michael’s death was STRESS as it was stress that brought about his terrible lack of sleep.
And who created all the stress for Michael? Who humiliated him and made impossible demands of him? Who made him cry and say to his son that they were killing him?
Take away propofol out of the situation and you will see that Michael was dying due to the stress of 50 shows imposed on him at an inhuman pace. And who arranged the inhuman pace for Michael?
Could they have avoided Michael’s death?
Easily – if only they had arranged those 50 shows with longer breaks between the dates and had not forced him into wasting his energy on everyday rehearsals even prior to the concerts.
And then Michael would have functioned in May and June without any propofol in the same way he functioned in February, March and April. Propofol could have been occasionally used during the tour, but with longer spaces between the shows there was also a big chance that he would have slept naturally with his usual remedies prescribed to him by Dr. Metzger or Nurse Cherylin Lee.
In short if AEG had listened to Michael’s requests for an adequate rest before and during the tour Michael would be alive now. But they did not listen to him because they didn’t give a damn for him and his life. And when he was dying in front of everyone’s eyes they neglected to give him any help and didn’t allow others to do it.
Who did all that?
And all this is just an addition to the fact that AEG hired, controlled and used Conrad Murray to provide services for the dear selves.
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BREAKING NEWS: The judge allowed cameras in the court room!
ABC is livestreaming the closing arguments – Mr. Panish has already started:
LA Times is also streaming. They say that it works best on slow connections:
CNN is streaming too. Their settings allow for captions in English:
Lunch break until 1:30 pm PT.
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