Michael Jackson has been dead for more than three years now — but apparently he lives on in the halls of America's legal system.
Jackson's former assistant, Michael Amir Williams, filed a class-action lawsuit against concert promoters AEG Live in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, claiming he and others hired to attend to the "Beat It" singer during his would-be
"This Is It" tour at London's O2 Arena were deprived of at least $7.5 million dollars in pay.
According to the suit, AEG was responsible for the financial loss because it hired Dr. Conrad Murray — who was found guilty of causing the singer's death — to care for Jackson.
The suit claims that Jackson "bargained for the addition of Class to help Michael Jackson give the 'first class performance' as required by Contract. The express terms of the Contract allowed for class to be paid by AEG up to $7.5 million and any amount over $7.5 million to be paid for by Michael Jackson."
Unfortunately, AEG also hired Murray, who administered a fatal dose of Propofol to Jackson in June 2009, before the concerts could take place. (Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for Jackson's death in Nov. 2011.)
AEG’s lawyer, Marvin Putnam of O’Melveny & Myers, calls the lawsuit "frivolous" and "truly unfortunate."
"This lawsuit is clearly frivolous; it is literally barred by at least four different legal doctrines," Putnam said in a statement provided to TheWrap. "The easiest is that Mr. Williams was a personal employee of Michael Jackson’s, and was never a beneficiary of Mr. Jackson’s contract with AEG Live. As such he has no legal standing to sue on that contract. Nor can he legally bring a claim for Mr. Jackson’s wrongful death. The idea that Mr. Williams purports to sue on behalf of the many persons who did enter into relationships with AEG Live and Jackson in connection with the This Is It Tour, and with whom AEG Live parted ways with the utmost friendship and respect, is disgraceful. It is truly unfortunate that so many see Mr. Jackson’s demise as an opportunity to grab as much for themselves as possible. This is just the latest wrongful death lawsuit with someone hoping to profit from Michael Jackson’s tragic death in the same way they profited from his life."
Williams' suit alleges breach of express terms of contract; breach of implied terms of contract; and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The complaint seeks unspecified damages, plus court costs and attorneys' fees.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.