Promoter and Conrad Murray Had No Contract

Dr. Conrad Murray had no contract with AEG to act as Michael Jackson's physician

June 25, 2010, 2:25 PM

June 25, 2010 — -- The personal doctor for Michael Jackson and the promoter for the star's final tour never had a contractual agreement, according to the promoter, AEG -- this despite reports that AEG was paying the physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, $150,000 a month to be Jackson's personal doctor during his "This Is It" concert tour, which would have begun last July.

Jackson's father, Joe Jackson, filed a wrongful death lawsuit today against Murray in California court through attorney Brian Oxman. Two weeks ago Oxman filed a complaint against AEG with the California Medical Board.

A lawyer for Murray, meanwhile, said his client was not to blame in Jackson's death.

"The question really becomes, what did AEG know about Michael Jackson's condition," said Charles Peckham, Murray's civil attorney.

Watch the two-hour "20/20" special "Michael Jackson: After Life" tonight at 9 p.m. ET

Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter. He allegedly gave Jackson a fatal dose of a powerful anesthetic called propofol.

"Michael probably been dead a long time before they started taking him to the hospital," said Joe Jackson "Then... the doctor left when they -- and they couldn't find him in three days or somethin'? That's what made me believe somethin's wrong."

At the hospital, police say Murray did not tell emergency room doctors that he gave Jackson propofol, and that he left the hospital "against the objections of investigating officers" after refusing to sign the death certificate. His car -- parked at Michael Jackson's home -- was impounded.

Days later, when Murray finally surfaced and spoke to police, he allegedly admitted for the first time that he gave propofol to Jackson the day he died. But a second Murray attorney, Ed Chernoff, says it didn't kill him.

"The way he died, would not be explained by the medicines that the doctor had prescribed," Chernoff said.

The proposed contract between AEG and Murray, obtained by ABC News, said that AEG would provide Murray with a CPR machine, saline, needles, a gurney and other medical equipment. ABC News' Chris Cuomo asked Peckham what services Murray was supposed to provide, according to the contract.

"I will tell you that, Dr. Murray was supposed to have been provided a great deal of medical equipment and also a nurse, and they were supposed to have been provided by AEG, they should have been, but they weren't," said Peckham.

In fact the contract between AEG and Murray was never signed.

Earlier today AEG released the following statement to ABC News:

"The medical supplies in question were requested by Dr. Murray for use specifically in London in the event an unexpected need arose. When asked why these supplies were needed, Dr. Murray said that Michael Jackson was in excellent health but an artist of his stature should have this equipment on-hand when engaging in this type of performance. Dr. Murray did not ask for these items for use in Los Angeles."

Also today, Oxman filed the wrongful death suit on behalf of Joe Jackson against Dr. Murray.

"If the equipment were at his house to preserve his life, Michael Jackson could have been saved," said Oxman. "I think that Dr. Murray bears responsibility, but I don't think that his is the only responsibility here."

Conrad Murray's Possible Defense Strategy

Jackson's autopsy report states the cause of death as "acute propofol intoxication" -- similar to what would be given for major surgery. But Murray says he only gave Jackson a small dose of propofol, 25 milligrams.

"There was a massive amount of propofol in Michael Jackson's body, inconsistent with the amount Murray told police he gave him," said Harvey Levin of TMZ. "There were only two people in the room. Michael Jackson and Conrad Murray. So Conrad Murray's fate seems to lie in the theory that Michael Jackson gave himself the fatal dose."

And that will probably be the defense strategy later this year, when Murray goes on trial. The question is: Will the argument be enough to create reasonable doubt?

For now, Murray is laying low. He says he lost not only a patient -- but a friend.

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