Will Leaked Michael Jackson Email Threads Affect the Plaintiff Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit by singer Michael Jackson’s former assistants and employees has been filed against concert promoter AEG Live in Los Angeles for over $7 million relating to unpaid wages. The lawsuit alleges the plaintiffs suffered a financial loss and were not paid wages arising from AEG’s knowledge of the singer’s physical condition and the involvement of Dr. Conrad Murray, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter of the singer last year.
The suit claims the defendant’s “acts and omissions brought about the demise of Michael Jackson.” The causes of action include breach of express and implied contracts, as well as breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Defendant counters that the lawsuit is meritless and that plaintiffs lack standing to file, as they were not party to the contract between Jackson and AEG Live.
However, email threads previously leaked to the Los Angeles Times in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the Jackson family also against AEG Live, might be probative in the employee class action. The e-mails suggest that AEG Live’s executive Randy Philips knew that Jackson was having extreme medical and mental difficulties and yet, the number one concern was to ensure he performed without regard to his well-being:
- “MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent,” Phillips wrote in March 2009, “I (am) trying to sober him up.”
- “I screamed at him so loud the walls are shaking,” Phillips wrote. “He is an emotionally paralyzed mess riddled with self-loathing and doubt now that it is show time.”
- “MJ is not in shape enough yet to sing this stuff live and dance at the same time.”
- Show director Kenny Ortega wrote to Phillips, writing that Jackson had “strong signs of paranoia, anxiety and obsessive-like behavior” and wanting a “top psychiatrist in to evaluate him ASAP.”
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