Jacksons vs AEG - Day 83 – September 20 2013 – Summary

Dr. Allan Metzger testimony

AEG cross

Kathryn Cahan, attorney from AEG, did cross examination.

Cahan asked if the doctor met with Jacksons attorneys and other things he did last night to prepare for his testimony. Tried to sleep and chilled out, Dr. Metzger responded. Dr. Metzger said he will bill the plaintiffs $1,000/hour for testifying today. He’ll bill 6 or 7 hours for the time on the stand yesterday. Cahan asked if Dr Metzger were to do this for 8 hours/day he’d make $240 thousand a month. “I’d never do this 8 hours a day,” he answered. The doctor said he retired earlier this year from seeing patients.

Metzger: I told MJ I wanted to have as much information as I could about his health wherever he was. Sometimes I got it, sometimes I didn’t
Cahan: Did you ever discuss with MJ your concerns about doctor shopping?
Dr. Metzger: Yes

Dr. Metzger said he explains to all of his patients he wants to know all the doctors they are seeing due to potential harm of medications.

Cahan: Michael didn’t take your warnings seriously, did he?
Dr. Metzger: At times he did.
Cahan: Regarding the risks of taking medication this way, was it your impression he didn’t take you seriously?
Dr. Metzger: I believe he took it seriously, but I believe he forgot it at times since he was too busy.

Cahan played video deposition of Dr. Metzger where he said he was frustrated that other doctors were giving MJ medication he didn’t know. I don’t think he took it very seriously because he trusted doctors to take care of him, Dr. Metzger said in the depo.

I think he really didn’t take it seriously he could have a reaction from taking different medications, Dr. Metzger testified.

Cahan: You said MJ took great joy in making it a secret to everybody and that it was part of his mystique, correct?
Metzger: It was part of his privacy, his mystique perhaps. There were concerns of MJ seeing several doctors. I’d not call it doctor shopping

Cahan played Metzger’s video deposition where he said he heard concerns from Debbie, Karen, Hoefflin, Klein that Michael was doctor shopping. He took pain medication the average person wouldn’t, Dr. Metzger testifies in his deposition. Metzger said privacy and secrecy played a role in MJ’s medical care. He didn’t recall seeing pill bottles with doctor’s name he didn’t know At times, MJ was secretive about the doctors he was seeing, the medications he was taking and the procedures he was having, Dr. Metzger said. 

Dr. Metzger said he had no restrictions of where to go in MJ’s Carolwood home during the April 18, 2009 visit. Cahan played video of deposition where the doctor said he never went upstairs at Michael’s house. But he said in court he went to the second floor’s landing to get a cat and saw into all the rooms. Cahan asked which one was the truth, whether he went upstairs or not. Dr. Metzger said he did not go upstairs with Michael. Dr. Metzger: I went up to the landing where you could see the room where the kids said Michael was and the doors were wide open. 

Dr. Metzger claimed he didn’t see any medical equipment in MJ’s house. “He was certainly anxious and desperate over sleep,” he said.
Cahan: How MJ looked on April 18, 2009?
Metzger: He looked fit, he was bouncing, the same Michael I knew, lucid
There was no suggestion of medication I could detect, Dr. Metzger recalled.

He said Michael was always trim and muscular. “He was ready to go, except worried about sleep,” Dr. Metzger testified. I think he was handling stress better than I thought he would he said. “I’ve seeing him before other tours, he seemed more anxious” He seemed in charge and ready to go, the doctor said. “He was excited, anxious.”

Jackson redirect

In re-direct, Dr. Metzger said that on April 18, 2009 he was not aware of MJ having any intravenous medication.. Chang asked if on April 18, 2009 MJ looked skeletal like the picture from June 19, 2009. “Absolutely did not look like that,” he responded.

Regarding Chang’s recommending Eric George to be his attorney, Dr. Metzger said Chang was enthusiastic about him. In fact, he said, Chang didn’t even recommend that the doctor talked to anyone else. Dr. Metzger and Chang met with George for about 1 hour. Chang: Is it terrifying to testify in front of the entire world? Metzger: Yes. I wanted to make sure I knew how to answer properly about MJ. Chang said she wanted to clear up that her firm is not paying Dr. Metzger’s attorney Eric George. Dr. Metzger: I have not received any bills from Eric George yet. She asked if he had any reason to believe that was not true. He said no. Dr. Metzger said $1,000/hour is the standard rate he charges any attorney when he does depositions or testifies in court. Dr. Metzger charged AEG $9,000 for 9 hours of deposition in this case. He said he charged the same hourly rate for the Lloyds of London depo. Chang: In the 46 years you’ve practice medicine, it the rate pretty standard for doctors? Dr. Metzger: It’s standard in my office. Dr. Metzger said the fee he charges does not influence his testimony in any way.

He said Paul Gongaware was the producer at MJ’s tour in Sydney, Australia. Chang: Did you believe it was any secret in Australia that Michael could not sleep after the performances? Dr. Metzger: No, I think everyone understood that. He was a perfectionist, Michael could not sleep after the shows. Whatever he did it, no matter how magical it was, he wanted to make it more magical, Dr. Metzger opined. Chang: Was it for the fans? Dr. Metzger: Yes and for himself, he was a perfectionist. Chang: When someone cannot sleep, does it make someone more anxious? Dr. Metzger: Yes, and it lowers the pain threshold.

Chang: During the Dangerous tour in 1993 did you come to learn that too many prescription drugs were given to MJ? Dr. Metzger: Absolutely!

Regarding prescribing medication under Karen Faye’s name, Dr. Metzger said it was Latisse for eyelashes, Rogaine and cold medicine.

As to doctor shopping, Metzger said his concern about it was in the early 90′s. He said he never prescribed Demerol under Faye’s name for MJ. I’m not aware of any doctor shopping and use of drug that was not appropriate from 1995 and later, Dr. Metzger testified. Chang asked if Dr. Metzger had any proof MJ was taking meds from different doctors. “The only proof I had was word of mouth,” he answered. Michael never told me about many doctors and many medications, Dr. Metzger testified. Chang: And you didn’t have any real evidence? Dr. Metzger: I did hear bits and pieces of medication being prescribed by other doctors in LA. Chang: You agree that you were MJ’s long time doctor and friend for 26 years? Dr. Metzger: Yes

Chang: You met Paul Gongaware in the HIStory tour? Metzger: Yes. 

I was concerned about sleep issue and him being groggy, Dr. Metzger said. As to using intravenous medication to sleep, Dr. Metzger repeated he told MJ it was dangerous and he should not do it.

Chang: Paul Gongaware never offered to pay you $150 thousand/month? Dr. Metzger: Correct

AEG recross

Cahan, in re-cross: If Paul Gongaware offered you $150 thousand/month it would be less than what you’d get for being a witness at $1,000/hr? Dr. Metzger: Yes, the math is correct, but I also said I’d not do this full time.

Dr. Metzger recalled overuse of Demerol and some sleep drug issues as being a problem during the Dangerous tour. In 1993, when MJ went to rehab, Dr. Metzger said he learned about it either though Debbie Rowe or Karen Faye or maybe the press. Cahan played video deposition of Dr. Metzger where he said he treated MJ after he went to rehab and never discussed it with Michael. Cahan: Did you discuss MJ’s addiction to painkiller even after learning from the press he entered rehab and continued as his physician? Dr. Metzger: I discussed that in the late 90′s a few times. Cahan: Did he say he had an addiction to painkillers? Dr. Metzger: Yes, he said that in the Dangerous tour he was addicted.

I believe I prescribed mild opioids, vicodin, for significant pain, Dr. Metzger said. This was after MJ had left rehab. As to Latisse, the doctor said the prescription was for both MJ and Faye. He believes this was during the Dangerous tour. Metzger said he was more involved in the 90′s than 2000′s. From 03-09, he was involved only by phone, asked about kids, minor medical issues

Dr. Metzger is excused.

Attorney Eric George Testimony

Jackson direct

George is an attorney for 20 years. He practices civil litigation matters involving businesses. 

Panish: Have you ever socialize with me, had dinners with me? George: Not once. I’m very careful the company I keep. Everyone laughed. 

He represents Debbie Rowe for the past 8 years. Panish asked how George became Dr. Metzger’s attorney. He said he received a phone call asking if he would be willing to represent him. Panish inquired if he was being paid by Panish’s firm to represent Dr. Metzger. George said no, nor would he accept it. George: It would be inappropriate. I’m here to represent the witness, to tell the truth and let the chips fall wherever they may.

AEG cross

Putnam, in cross: When did you decide you were going to testify? George: It was discussed yesterday after an incorrect answer was given. George said it was suggested that he was being paid about one side. “It concerned my reputation and I wanted to clear that up.” It was something I’d never agree to, he testified.” I was glad to do it and get the record straight.

P: Did you charge him? G: Yes. Putnam: Do you work for Dr. Metzger for free? George: No. P: Are you being paid less than the regular rate? G: Much less. Putnam: Your regular rate? George: No

George never met Dr. Metzger before his case, but said he heard about him from Debbie Rowe. Putnam asked if he thought it was a conflict of interest to represent Rowe and Dr. Metzger. George said there’s no conflict of interest. I’m proud of saying that I’ve never been accused of conflict of interest or unethical conduct and I want to keep it that way, George said. Putnam asked why George agreed to represent Dr. Metzger. One of the most important issues of this time is corporate accountability and responsibility, George said.

Putnam: You made a determination about the outcome of this case? George: I do have strong feelings about this case, yes.

George was then excused. 

Plaintiffs told the court they are resting, pending some issues that are not resolved yet.

Both sides stipulated that the total attendance in the U2 concert at the Rowe Bowl on Oct 25, 2009 was approximately 97,000.

After jurors left, Kevin Boyle tells judge in order to not lengthen the trial even further they’ll not show Sony’s raw footage of This Is It

Attorneys argued plaintiffs’ motion for direct verdict on issue of Katherine Jackson being dependent on MJ. Judge: My tentative would be to grant it. Boyle said he agreed with judge’s position. Plaintiffs want the judge to rule that Katherine Jackson was dependent on MJ for necessities of live. If Mrs. Jackson is considered not to be dependent of MJ, she has no standing in bringing in this lawsuit. Mrs. Jackson didn’t need her son’s money for necessities of life Bina argued. “For 3 years she was getting $120K/year from daughter Janet” Standing is not established if the money from the child only enables the parent to have niceties they might otherwise afford Bina opined. It’s a jury question as to whether the chid’s money is needed, Bina said. Bina argued it’s not contribution to some extent, it’s whether the parent needed the money for the necessities of life. Boyle said the support that MJ was given to Mrs. Jackson was not really disputed. Ackerman testified that Mr. Jackson was paying for many expenses at Hayvenhurst, such as utilities, transportation, food, mortgage. Judge asked if there was record of how money Janet gave Mrs. Jackson was spent. Her money could be for the niceties. Bina said the law is to protect a parent who depends upon a child for necessities of life. Bina: Jury could find Mrs Jackson was not dependent upon MJ for the necessities of life but accepted generous gift to have nicer things. Judge: The fact that he contributes it some way, it doesn’t have to be how much. Boyle argues that the word “need ” is not in any of the case laws. It’s whether they were dependent, to some extent, for necessities of life Judge: The fact in this case is Mrs. Jackson is an 83 year old woman, she doesn’t work, she’s dependent on her children to take care of her. Boyle said defendant’s expert admitted MJ paid Mrs. Jackson’s necessities of life. Bina: A reasonable person could determine that earning $120 thousand a year is enough for food, clothing and shelter. If there was no Michael Jackson at all, Mrs. Jackson would still have $120 thousand a year, Bina said. Notwithstanding how generous MJ was to his mother, the fact is she did not need him to live, Bina argued. Judge to rule within the hour if Katherine Jackson has standing or not. If judge denies motion, jury will have to determine if KJ has standing before they can award her any money — what defense wants. If judge grants it, jury won’t have to make that decision — what plaintiffs want. Big victory in court today for Katherine Jackson. The judge just ruled the matriarch is entitled to seek compensation for the death of MJ.