A California appeals court has revived a couple of lawsuits accusing Michael Jackson of sexual abuse. The allegations against Jackson were the subject of the 2019 documentary Leaving Neverland.
The suits, from plaintiffs Wade Robson and James Safechuk, were earlier dismissed in 2021 by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge on the grounds that Jackson’s corporations, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, had no legal duty to protect the men (then children) from Jackson’s abuse because the corporations could not control the musician’s behavior.
The dismissal has now been reversed by the 2nd District Court of Appeal as it would be “perverse” to free the corporations of responsibility for their owner’s behavior.
“To treat Jackson’s wholly-owned instruments as different from Jackson himself is to be mesmerized by abstractions,” Associate Justice John Shepard Wiley Jr. wrote in a concurring opinion.
Robson and Safechuck had alleged that Jackson groomed and molested them as children in 2013. Their lawsuits were initially dismissed because the statute of limitations on the cases had expired, but they were brought back after a 2019 law gave victims of childhood abuse a longer window to take legal action.
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