A Los Angeles paramedic who responded to Michael Jackson’s home the day he died was called to the witness stand Tuesday morning as testimony opened in a wrongful death case that pits the legacy of the pop star against the entertainment conglomerate that was planning the singer’s comeback tour.
Richard Senneff was one of several paramedics who attempted in vain to revive an unresponsive Jackson, who died after receiving a lethal dose of the drug propofol.
Senneff was also called as a witness in the criminal trial of Jackson’s doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray. Murray, who administered the drug, is now serving time after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
The Los Angeles Fire Department paramedic testified during that trial that when he arrived at Jackson’s mansion, Murray said he had been treating the entertainer for dehydration and exhaustion, but never mentioned propofol, a powerful anesthetic usually reserved for surgical settings.
Senneff testified during Murray’s trial that he arrived believing they had a good chance of reviving Jackson, given Murray's representation that the patient had "just" lost consciousness when the 911 call was made.
Yet by all indications -- his cold skin, dry eyes and dilated pupils -- Jackson was appeared already dead, the paramedic recalled.The wrongful death suit against AEG was filed by the singer’s mother, Katherine -- who was in the courtroom Monday along with Michael Jackson’s siblings Rebbie and Randy -- and his three children.
The suit accuses AEG of pushing Jackson beyond his limits and being responsible for hiring and controlling Murray.
AEG’s attorneys have countered that it was Jackson was brought in Murray. The attorneys also vowed that “ugly stuff” will be brought to light during the trial, which could run through much of the summer.
Staff writers Victoria Kim and Harriet Ryan contributed to this report.