Don’t get your knickers in a whatever you get your knickers in: this absurd but utterly true law story — of course via Lowering the Bar — comes from France.
Yes, France. The empire of great glory, Napoleon and napoleons, Charles de Gaulle and useless filigree. The empire that has, to the bewilderment of most Americans, built temples to the genius of, oh, say, Jerry Lewis.
Well, now it’s Michael Jackson. Read on and laugh, loudly. It begins:
“As far as I know,” said the plaintiffs’ lawyer, “this is the first time in the world that the notion of emotional damage in connection with a pop star has been recognized.” He meant legally recognized, because who hasn’t suffered some sort of emotional damage connected with Ke$ha, Justin Bieber, or whoever thought up the “Harlem Shake,” just to give a few examples? But it may be the first time a court has actually awarded damages to a fan for emotional distress following the death of a pop star.
According to the BBC, a court in Orleans, France, ruled in favor of five plaintiffs who sued Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, over the death of their beloved weirdo. Murray was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter for his involvement in Jackson’s death, after a trial that was appropriately weird in a number of ways. See, e.g., “Michael Jackson’s Ghost Testifies His Death Was an Accident,” Lowering the Bar (June 16, 2013).
As an aside, I am a little irked to see that I’ve been pushed onto the second page of Google results for the phrase “Michael Jackson’s ghost,” but it looks like he’s been more active than I realized. People apparently claim to have seen him at Neverland, on Larry King Live and at Cirque du Soleil, among other places. Also, Jackson made a short film in 1997 called “Michael Jackson’s Ghosts,” so that is also screwing up the results. Anyway, now that I’ve mentioned “Michael Jackson’s ghost” four times in two paragraphs, maybe that’ll fix itself.
Just so you don’t think that the U.S. is dominated by insane, outrageous lawsuits.
Here’s the whole Lowering the Bar: Court Finds Fan Club Members Were Harmed by Michael Jackson’s Death – Lowering the Bar.