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AEG Live tap dances through Michael Jackson woes

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After Michael Jackson died on Thursday, concert promoter AEG Live found itself on shaky ground, with 50 shows in London scrapped and ticket buyers clamoring for refunds. The company in recent days has been forced to consider how much it could lose on the cancelemichael-jackson1d shows, amid reports that it spent up to $30 million in production costs and as questions emerged about Dr. Conrad Murray. He is the physician AEG Live hired to care for Jackson and the one who was there when the singer died. He performed CPR on a bed, instead of the preferred method of placing him on a hard surface, like a floor.

Would AEG be the target of lawsuits? Will its insurors decline to pay out if they make a claim? Time will tell, but one outside observer is giving AEG, which is owned by companies controlled by Colorado-based billionaire Philip Anschutz, credit for the way it has controlled the damage that could’ve been caused — or may still be caused — by Jackson’s death.

“AEG is at the center of this right now and it seems the people at AEG are very, very switched on,” said Jerry Kroll, an attorney who specializes in insurance cases. “They seem to be dealing with it as if they had a crisis management team come in.”

Randy Phillips,  chief executive of AEG Live, has said that Jackson looked fit and ready to perform the night before he died, and that the company planned a tribute show that could involve the singer’s famous family. Phillips also said he tried in vain to convince Jackson not to hire Murray. 

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