(CBS/KCBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - Jury selection began Tuesday in the $40 billion civil suit by Michael Jackson's mother against concert giant AEG Live.
Katherine Jackson claims the company negligently hired Conrad Murray, the doctor later convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the pop star's death, and failed to oversee him. She and Jackson's two eldest children are expected to testify about his last days.
According to CBS Los Angeles, Katherine Jackson is seeking $40 billion in damages against AEG, which was promoting a series of comeback concerts for the King of Pop.
Legal rulings by Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos last week anticipated a three-month trial that will revisit events preceding the singer's death from an anesthetic overdose in 2009.
Murray, who was convicted of manslaughter for administering the drug propofol, is not named in the lawsuit. However, the judge agreed to allow him to be brought to court from jail to testify outside the jury's presence. He has said he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to testify, but lawyers said he could possibly talk about non-criminal issues.
The judge also refused to bar AEG from raising the subject of child molestation charges against Jackson from years ago.
Lawyers for Jackson's mother claim it's irrelevant because he was acquitted, but Judge Palazuelos said she would allow testimony that Jackson became despondent and reliant on drugs because of the charges.
AEG attorney Marvin Putnam maintained his client never hired Murray and that the cardiologist had been one of many doctors who had treated the singer in the past, CBS Los Angeles reports. However, Palazuelos found that various actions taken by the company, including discussions to pay Murray $150,000 a month, could suggest there was a possible contract or agreement with the doctor.