"An entertainment company blamed for Michael Jackson's death wants a North Carolina court to subpoena a dentist who "may have been present" when the late pop icon was sedated with propofol.
As the defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Jackson's mother, Anschutz Entertainment Group has asked the Union County Superior Court to subpoena out-of-state witness Dr. Mark Tadrissi, D.D.S.
AEG claims Tadrissi, based in Waxhaw, N.C., is a "healthcare provider who likely treated and/or consulted with Michael Jackson, including in or around 2008."
It says Tadrissi has information and knowledge pertinent to the case, as he "may have been present when Michael Jackson was given sedation, including propofol," the surgical anesthetic that killed the entertainer on June 25, 2009.
Katherine Jackson has accused AEG of instructing her son "to stop seeing and taking medications from his current doctor" and to rely on Dr. Conrad Murray, whom it hired to ensure Michael Jackson attended rehearsals and shows for his "This Is It" tour.
AEG agents went to the entertainer's Beverly Hills home on June 18 and "demanded Michael Jackson stop seeing Dr. Arnold Klein and stop taking the drugs Klein gave him," Katherine Jackson claims. "AEG said Klein's drugs made him sleepy and prevented him from rehearsing. AEG demanded Michael Jackson take only the medications given to him by Murray."
Murray was hired as Michael's personal physician in May 2009 for $150,000 a month. Jackson says he administered "various controlled substances and other medications" to her son, "including Valium, Ativan, Versed, and Propofol."
A week after AEG agents allegedly came to his house, the singer died of a propofol overdose.
Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for his role in Michael Jackson's death and was sentenced to the maximum four years in prison.
AEG says Tadrissi has crucial knowledge in this case that requires a subpoena.
"Among other issues, Michael Jackson's health, medical history, and history of drug use are central to this wrongful death lawsuit," it claims. "This witness possesses knowledge and information, including documents, communications, and records, directly relevant to this case that cannot be obtained from any other source."
Kathryn Cahan is representing AEG and its co-defendants: AEG Live, AEG Live Co-CEOs Brandon "Randy" Phillips and Paul Gongaware, "This Is It" tour director Kenneth Ortega and Anschutz Entertainment Group CEO Timothy Leiweke.