California Appeals Court Revives Michael Jackson Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

In a recent development, a California appeals court has given new life to lawsuits filed by two individuals who claim to have been sexually abused by Michael Jackson during their childhood. The three-judge panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal found that a lower court should not have dismissed the lawsuits of Wade Robson and James Safechuck. The panel asserted that the two Jackson-owned corporations implicated in the cases had a duty to protect the plaintiffs and that a recent California law temporarily expanding the scope of sexual abuse cases allowed the appeals court to reinstate the lawsuits.

California Appeals Court Revives Michael Jackson Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

This marks the second time that the lawsuits, initially brought by Robson in 2013 and Safechuck the following year, have been resurrected after being dismissed. The two men gained wider recognition for sharing their stories in the 2019 HBO documentary titled “Leaving Neverland.”

A judge who dismissed the suits in 2021 argued that the Jackson-owned corporations, MJJ Productions Inc. and MJJ Ventures Inc., couldn’t be held to the same standards of responsibility as institutions like the Boy Scouts or a church that are expected to protect children under their care. It was noted that Jackson, who passed away in 2009, was the sole owner and sole shareholder of these companies.

However, the higher court judges disagreed, stating that a corporation facilitating the sexual abuse of children by one of its employees cannot escape its duty to protect those children simply because it is solely owned by the abuser. They emphasized that the absence of a task due to the corporation having only one shareholder would be illogical, leading them to reverse the judgments in favor of the corporations.

Jonathan Steinsapir, the attorney representing the Jackson estate, expressed disappointment in the decision, reiterating their confidence in Michael Jackson’s innocence and claiming that the allegations were motivated solely by financial gain.

Vince Finaldi, the attorney for Robson and Safechuck, responded positively to the court’s decision, stating that they were pleased but not surprised by the overturning of the previous judge’s rulings. He underlined that these rulings went against California law and set a dangerous precedent that could endanger children across the state and country. They eagerly await a trial on the merits of the cases.

California Appeals Court Revives Michael Jackson Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

While Steinsapir argued that it wouldn’t be reasonable to expect employees to confront their boss about their behavior, the plaintiffs’ attorneys countered that the defendant’s employees left the boys vulnerable and unprotected. The case will ultimately be decided in a jury trial in Los Angeles.

California Appeals Court Revives Michael Jackson Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

It’s important to note that the judges did not decide about the truth of the allegations themselves, leaving that to be decided during the upcoming trial. Despite the legal battles, the hope is that the truth will eventually prevail and bring clarity to these complex and sensitive allegations.

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