Texas families who lose a loved one in a tragic accident may file a wrongful death suit to help move on. For example, the Jackson family has filed a wrongful death suit against a concert promoter after the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson.

Jackson passed away in 2009 while under the care of physician Conrad Murray. According to the coroner’s report, Jackson’s death was caused by a deadly combination of sedatives and surgical anesthetic. Murray administered the drugs to help Jackson with his insomnia. The jury convicted Murray of involuntary manslaughter.

The wrongful death suit alleges that AEG Live, the concert promoter behind Jackson’s “This Is It” tour, knew about Jackson’s emotional and physical struggles and still insisted that Jackson and Murray meet their demanding schedule. It also alleges that AEG Live negligently hired and/or supervised Dr. Murray. One of the big pieces of Jackson’s case is an e-mail from AEG executives to show director Kenny Ortega stating that AEG was paying Murray’s salary, not Jackson. Jackson’s lawyers say that this e-mail shows that AEG was pressuring Murray to have Jackson ready for his concerts despite his weakened state.

AEG claims that Jackson was the one who chose Murray as a doctor and is responsible for his own death because of the personal choices he made and his struggles with addiction. They say that Murray was never an AEG employee and that they never paid him.

The trial will involve weeks of testimony from experts in the medical field, financial experts and even Jackson’s children.

If AEG is found liable, the Jackson family will seek billions in damages. Families of wrongful death victims can file a lawsuit to recover damages for the loss of their loved one. The damages acquired will depend on certain characteristics of the deceased including age, life expectancy, health, and earning capacity. A public accountant estimates that Jackson could have earned close to $1.4 billion on his “This Is It” tour. But AEG feels that Jackson may not have even finished the 50 London shows alive. The courts will determine the final amount of damages.

Source: KTLA 5, “AEG Lawyer: ‘Ugly Stuff’ to Come in Jackson Death Trial,” April 30, 2013