Entertainment group AEG did not properly check Dr. Conrad Murray's background before bringing him on board for Michael Jackson's ill-fated "This Is It" tour, a human-resources consultant testified Monday.
Jean Seawright, head of the Florida-based Seawright & Associates consulting group, said that based on her review of the case, AEG Live "did indeed fail to follow adequate hiring practices" in the selection of Murray, regardless of whether he was considered a company employee or independent contractor.
Seawright, an expert witness retained by the attorneys representing Jackson's mother and three children in their wrongful-death lawsuit, said her testimony came under the assumption that AEG hired Murray, who gave the singer a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol in 2009. The jury will ultimately determine which party retained the doctor. Jackson's family alleges AEG hired and controlled Murray, while AEG maintains he worked for Jackson.
Murray is serving time in prison for involuntary manslaughter.
Seawright called the role of Jackson's personal physician a "very high-risk position" given the responsibilities of the job — such as accessing the singer's medical history and personal life, working remotely and providing medical care.