Jacksons vs AEG - Day 57 – July 26 2013 – Summary

(source : ABC7 unless otherwise indicated)

Dr. Scott Saunders video deposition

Attorney Adam Hunt did the questioning.

Dr. Scott Saunders graduated in 1997 from Brigham Young University, attended medical school at UCLA. Currently, Dr. Saunders works at Buellton Medical Center with Dr. Barnie Van Valin. There's also Dr. Debra Weinstein, who worked at Santa Inez Valley Cottage Hospital.

Dr. Saunders writes a blog entitles "The Love Triangle." Published on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011: "I had a friend, Michael Jackson, who was very lonely because he didn't love. There were very few people he could trust and love."

Hunt asked how they became friends. Dr. Saunders said MJ invited him to his ranch. He didn't remember when but it was less than 15 years ago

Hunt: Did MJ ever come to you for medical treatement?
Dr. Saunders: Yes
H: For what?
Dr. S: I don't recall

He also didn't recall when MJ went to see him. Dr. Saunders worked at the Buellton Medical Center from 1998 to 2003, saw MJ within that time. Dr. Saunders: I received a phone call from a woman who declined to identify herself and asked if I would be willing to make a house call. "And I said yes and she gave me the address," the doctor said.Hunt: Did you treat MJ that day? Dr. Saunders: Yes. "He had an upper respiratory infection," Dr. Saunders said. Dr. Saunders said he drove to Neverland, there was a kiosk at the entrance of the house, he pushed the button, followed a car to a house. Someone let him in, he waited at the entrance for about half an hour. Dr. Saunders: Someone, a man, came when I was ready to leave. Dr. Saunders: He and took me in to a bedroom. There was a guy lying on the bed, he said 'I am Michael Jackson.' Dr. Saunders: I said nice to meet you, Mr. Jackson. And he said 'I'm sick.' Dr. Saunders did not recognized the man on the bed as MJ. He said the room was dark. There was a keypad that the man pushed a series of buttons and the door opened, the doctor testified.

Dr. Saunders works with Dr. Van Valin, but has not spoken to him about MJ's treatment. He saw MJ and Dr. Van Valin together. "We were all at a gathering at MJ's ranch, we watched a movie in his theater," Dr. Saunders said. He thinks it was Spiderman movie.

There were other times Dr. Saunders treated MJ, but he doesn't know how many. He said it's around 10 times, probably less than 25 times. 
Hunt: What other medical conditions you treated him for?
Dr. Saunders: pain, that's all I remember

Dr.Saunders gave MJ pain medication for his pain. He doesn't recall which drugs.

Hunt: Do you recall giving Mr. Jackson Demerol?
Dr. Saunders: I don't recall

The doctor said he recalls using buprenorphine (buprenex) in injectable form. It is in the same class as an opiate medication.

Hunt: Do you know if he did receive other opiate medications from anyone?
Dr. Saunders: Yes
H: How do you know?
Dr. S: He told me

MJ told the doctor he wanted to get off pain medications.

Dr. Saunders: He said 'I don't want to end up like my father-in-law'
Hunt: Who was his father in law?
Dr. Saunders: Elvis Presley

Dr. Saunders said he gave MJ buprenorphine because it is an opiate agonist-antagonist, used to treat pain but tends to be less addictive. 
Hunt: Did Michael Jackson ask you specifically for buprenorphine?
Dr. Saunders: Yes
Hunt: Do patients typically ask for specific medication?
Dr. Saunders: People who take pain medications know what works for them, so yes
Hunt: Did Michael ever tell you about getting an implant to help address his addiction to pain medication?
Dr. Saunders: No

Dr Saunders said he never heard the name Dr. Fashchian and that MJ never told him about any other doctor going to Neverland and treating him. The doctor said he gave pain medication to MJ. He had been to the ER with the artist at Santa Inez Cottage Hospital. He doesn't recall when. 
Hunt: Why did you go?
Dr. Saunders: He called me because he had fallen I think on the stairs and had a foot problem.
Dr. Saunders: I think it was a foot problem, I went to see him, evaluated him, it appeared swollen, I recommended X-ray, took him in my car. "I helped him in," Dr. Saunders said about their arrival to the emergency room because MJ was having trouble walking. "I don't believe I stayed there. I probably went home to my family," Dr. Saunders testified. Dr. Saunders doesn't recall if he gave any pain medication to MJ before going to the ER. 

Dr. Saunders said he was friends with Michael Jackson. They talked about everything. "He was rather lonely and didn't have anyone he could trust," Dr. Saunders said. "He would call me and I would go over." Dr. Saunders: Sometimes we would drive around the ranch in his Navigator and talk, would sit at the video library and talk, or in an office. "And sometimes I'd be saying 'you know I really got to go home to my family' and 'No, no Saunders, just stay a little while' the doctor said. Dr. Saunders: He said he had a very difficult childhood, because he was never allowed to be a child. MJ never talked about his father, Joe Jackson, and how he treated him. MJ went to Dr. Saunders house in Solvang, met his wife and children. "He just showed up," Dr. Saunders said. "The driver took him there, he knocked on the door." One time MJ's kids were present and they wanted to go outside in the sandbox. Dr. Saunders said this was the same time he saw MJ socially. Saunders: He sent box to my house for Xmas. I don't recall what was in the box. I think my children got aPS2. But whatever else don't know. Hunt: The presents were for the family? Dr. Saunders: Yes. "He left a popcorn popper, like the ones at carnivals, on the stand," Dr. Saunders said. Hunt: Do you have it? Dr. Saunders: No, I sold it at a garage sale

Saunders said he and Jackson eventually became friends. “He was rather lonely and didn’t have anyone he could trust,” Saunders testified. And so he would call me and I would go over." When Saunders would tell Jackson he had to go home to his family, the singer would try to persuade him to stay, the doctor said.The doctor said Jackson told him “he had a very difficult childhood” and had never had an opportunity to be a child, though he did recount “running around hotels with Donny Osmond, that kind of thing.” Jackson and his children would show up unannounced at the doctor's house in Solvang, Saunders testified. A driver would bring him, he said, and Jackson would just knock on the door."Were you surprised when he got there," Saunders was asked. Yes," he replied. (LATimes)
The doctor said he doesn't know anything MJ did to protect his medical privacy.

Hunt: What medication was he on?
Dr. Saunders: The only two I knew of where Demerol and Morphine.
Dr. Saunders: and I think I gave him oral pain medicaiton, don't know which, Vicodin type of thing.
Dr. Saunders said MJ wanted to get off of Demerol. "He asked to use beprenorphine instead," Dr. Saunders said. Dr. Saunders said he doesn't know if MJ's attempt to quit Demerol was successful. The doctor never went with him outside California.

"One time he was telling me about going to Las Vegas, how much he liked Las Vegas, buying things," Dr. Saunders testified. "He would go to the stores and say I want that, and that, antiques. He was really into antiques," Dr. Saunders recalled. "He said he knew them all, he knew which ones were his," Dr. Saunders said. The house of full of everything including antiques.

Hunt: Were you compensated when you provided treatment to MJ?
Dr. Saunders: I never asked for compensation and he would pay cash.
Dr. Saunders: He would always pay in cash because he didn't have no credit, no checks, no bank account.
Hunt: How do you know?
Dr. Saunders: He told me. I said I'd send bill he said you can't, I don't have any checks or credit cards or anything

Medical record from Feb 24, 2001 from Santa Inez Valley Cottage Hospital saying male who fell down the stairs a couple of days ago. Document says "his primary care physician is Scott Saunders." The doctor said he thinks it's because he brought MJ there. Emergency Department Course: "Given his inability to take oral pain medication without extreme nausea we have worked out with Dr. Saunders to dispense Demerol and Phenergan IM with some needles and syringes. I have specifically stated a medical care professional, a physician or nurse, must administer this medication should he need it. He is well aware of this, and in fact, Dr. Saunders has agreed to go by the home to administer the medication if needed." Another section of the medical record: "We have dispensed the Demerol and Phenergan IM with needles and syringes. He is well aware that a physician or nurse must administer this and he will be calling Dr. Saunders tonight. "Disposition: Discharged to home. Follow up with Dr. Saunders some time next week."

Dr Saunders said this medical record did not refresh his recollection and doesn't recall anything about it and/or speaking with Dr Weinstein. The doctor said the ER doctors treat the initial emergency and then send the patient to their doctor for follow up.

Medical record from 02/25/2001 -- Emergency Department Report "History if Present Illness: This is a 30-something-year-old gentleman who has been here twice before, actually, earlier this evening although it is now the next day, but he has been seen twice. He has an avulsion of the proximal navicular of the foot and has required copious amounts of pain medication who returns again in severe pain, no further trauma, no paresthesias and states that he Demerol which we gave on him last visit has worn off and he feels the pain escalating." Private Physician: Currently Dr. Scott Saunders Allergies: None

Hunt: Have you heard of MJ requiring copious amounts of pain medication before?
Dr. Saunders: I have never heard that word used, no
Dr. Saunders said he's listed as primary doctor because he brought MJ to ER or because the patient said 'this is my doctor.'
Dr. Saunders said he never determined the underlying cause of MJ's addiction to painkillers and that MJ never told him anything about it.

Medical report from 2/26/2001:
History of Present Illness: The patient is here because he had a fractured cuboid on his right foot. He has been seen multiple times for pain medication injections. He receives Demerol 200 mg and 50 mg of Vistaril each time. Today, he was casted by Dr. Scott Saunders and is feeling somewhat better but is having some pain in his foot. At this point, it feels better in the cast.

Medical report from 12/14/2001: The patient is a 41-year-old black male who was brought in by Dr. Scott Saunders from the patient's home. Prior to his arrival, Dr. Saunders had called me saying the patient had an injection of Demerol 200 mg and Phenergan 50 mg which he has had on a number of occasions in the past and did well. "Dr. Saunders had told me upon arrival to the emergency room that he obtained further information that the patient had another pain injection at sometime prior to Dr. Saunders' arrival that Dr. Saunders was not aware of. The patient only told him this after his reaction had occurred."

Hunt: Do you know if MJ was ever able to stop taking large amounts of Demerol?
Dr. Saunders: I don't know

Dr. Saunders does not know if MJ continued to receive Demerol injections after he stopped treating him in 2003.

The doctor doesn't have any idea who the other doctor was that gave MJ injection of pain medication on the same day. 
Hunt: Does it bother you that MJ got or may have gotten a shot of Demerol by another physician without telling you?
Dr Saunders: Generally yes, that's a bothersome thing. Because the potential reaction or problems associated with Demerol are dose dependent So as you increase the dose, the potential for doing harm is increased. So if I am going out to give Demerol injection because of his broken foot, and meanwhile, some other doctor's going out there and giving him Demerol injections and it's too much too close together, he could have a bad reaction.

Medical record: "He has a med-alert bracelet saying he is allergic to Demerol." "When questioned, he says he had has Demerol many times in the past. Indeed, I administered Demerol to him at one time. He tells me this because he does not want to be 'given too much Demerol.' He has no specific reaction to Demerol itself. He tells me he has also tolerated Phenergan on numerous occasions in the past without difficulty."

Dr. Saunders said you wear med-alert if there's some reason you're likely to be found unconscious and not able to tell your allergies.
Hunt: And can high dosage of Demerol cause unconsciousness?
Dr. Saunders: Yes

Eric Briggs Testimony

AEG Direct

AEG attorney Sabrina Strong did the direct examination. Briggs is an expert witness in this case. He was asked to assess the projections of Arthur Erk, plaintiffs' retained expert.

Briggs studies Economy at Brown University and received his MBA at Anderson School at UCLA. Briggs is a senior management director at FTI Consulting and professor at USC Marshall School of Business. Briggs said he helps a media company put together forecast and assess risks of projects. Entertainment and media projects: looked at films, music, touring, video games, live events, pretty much everything. Briggs said he gets hired by film producers, production companies, record labels, banks and private equity that invest money. He has done work for talent agencies as well, like Creative Artist and William Morris. Other clients: Estate of Elvis PresleyJohn WayneFrank Sinatra, Bob Hope, among others. Briggs has worked in over 1100 engagements, 300 of those related to the music industry, like Rod Stewart,Bruno Mars, 50 Cent, Usher. Briggs has also worked in endorsement deals.

Strong: How many film engagements have you had over the course of your career?
Briggs: Probably 600

Briggs said some of his predictions have been inaccurate. "I don't have a crystal ball," he said. He has been doing forecast in the entertainment business for 15 years. He has testified once in an England tax matter, equivalent to our IRS, and on an arbitration case. Briggs mostly worked for companies that actively spend money in films.

FTI Consulting has about 4,000 employees worldwide. Briggs is charging $800 an hour. He has spent approximately 350 hours. Briggs has a team working on this matter, roughly 500-600 hours. Personnel on the team charge between $300-$800 per hour. Briggs said he has had significant involvement in most of the 1100 cases he worked on. "I'm not taking credit for somebody else."

Strong showed exhibit with Erk's Opinions:
- Tour
- Merchandise
- Endorsement/Sponsorship
- Las Vegas show
- Movies

Briggs said he analyzed the first four opinions by Erk, since Erk didn't project earnings for movies. Briggs did not analyze Mr. Erk's consumption numbers. Briggs overarching opinion on topics:
1- It's speculative whether these projects would occurred
2- The numbers projected are speculative

"My understanding is that damages cannot be speculative and I didn't want to prepare a speculative," Briggs said.

MJ had a prolific career which resulted in a catalogue that results in a lot of money every year. Briggs did not analyze that. He said he looked at income MJ would've generated for performing, going on tour. "My opinion relates to opinion MJ would have generated by working," Briggs said.

Strong showed an exhibit with "Erk's TII Tour: Speculative"
- No agreement beyond 50 shows
- MJ's drug use
- MJ's history of cancellations
- World tour depends on completion of 50 shows
- Performance Risk
- Execution Risk

"As of the date of death, there was no agreement that AEG or MJ would go beyond 50 shows," Briggs said. Briggs: MJ had a significant history of drug use, and this was significant to render my opinion. "There's significant testimony on the record from four medical doctors in this case regarding MJ's drug use," Briggs explained. Briggs: As part of my job, I'm asked to analyze all sorts of things, including drug use for someone who needs to perform. "It's all about the same thing: the risks," Briggs said. "My conclusion, based on the evidence presented, MJ's life expectancy was very short as of June 2009," Briggs said. "MJ was taking drugs in very dangerous ways, had history of taking drugs that had a long lasting impact on his health," he opined. Briggs: MJ had a unique history of great performance but cancellations, particularly in cases where they were practically certain to happen. The expert said MJ canceled a number of dates on Dangerous tour to enter rehab, canceled HBO special in 1995. Also, the Millennium concert didn't take place, theTwo Seas arrangement where nothing came of it. "The world tour depends on the completion of the 50 tours," Briggs said. "There's always a risk of whether the audience will perform and whether the artist will show up," Briggs testified. He said Guns N Roses, U2, Lady Gaga, Van Halen -- all cancelled shows that were pretty certain to happen. Those aspects helped shape Briggs opinion that Erk's projections were speculative.

"The four additional tours are also entirely speculative," Briggs said. They were based on Erk's personal opinion. 

Briggs: MJ had agreed to do 50 shows when he died and was actively engaged in rehearsals.
Strong: Do you have an opinion on whether MJ would have completed the 50 shows at the O2?
"My opinion is that it's speculative whether the 50 shows would have been completed," Briggs said. "There was a significant heath risk in place and the length of the tour exceeded 9 months," Briggs explained.