LOS ANGELES – Michael Jackson’s doctor was not qualified to treat the singer for insomnia or drug addiction and botched resuscitation efforts, an expert cardiologist testifying for the singer’s mother told a jury Tuesday.
Dr. Daniel Wohlgelernter told jurors hearing a negligent hiring case filed by Jackson’s mother against AEG Live LLC that he reached his conclusion after reviewing the credentials of Conrad Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter over Jackson’s 2009 death.
Attorneys for both sides told the panel last week that Jackson suffered from longstanding prescription drug addiction issues, which Wohlgelernter said Murray had no formal training on how to treat. The former cardiologist was also unqualified to administer propofol, the powerful anesthetic that killed Jackson.
Wohlgelernter, a Santa Monica-based cardiologist, told the panel that Murray improperly focused on Jackson’s heart when the singer stopped breathing after receiving propofol and other drugs on the morning of June 25, 2009.
The physician said he and Murray had received much of the same types of training over the courses of their careers, but that only anesthesiologists should administer propofol and that treating addiction or insomnia requires specialized training. Jackson was receiving propofol treatments as a sleep aid.
AEG denies all wrongdoing and says it was Michael Jackson who wanted Murray to work as his doctor while he prepared for a series of comeback shows called “This Is It.”
Wohlgelernter was the first of many experts expected to testify during the trial about Murray’s care, AEG’s actions, contracts and other issues.
Several other doctors testified during Murray’s 2011 criminal trial that the doctor repeatedly violated the standard of care in his treatments on Jackson. Murray had been expecting to receive $150,000 per month for his work on Jackson’s tour, but the singer died before the contract was finalized.