• BREAKING NEWS Shelter in place lifted after prisoner captured

Michael Jackson trial: Nurse anesthetist talks singer's med procedures

July 25, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A medical nurse is shedding new light on Michael Jackson's drug-use and a series of medical procedures. The nurse took the witness stand in the singer's wrongful death trial on Thursday.

Jurors heard testimony that Jackson was a frequent visitor to several doctors and was regularly put under for injections to his face. David Fournier, a nurse anesthetist and defense witness for AEG, said he sedated or monitored Jackson 35 times under various physicians from 1993 to 2003.

Fournier said he used propofol or other painkillers because Jackson sometimes received 50 to 100 injections at a time of Botox or cosmetic fillers. Fournier stated Jackson needed larger doses of medication because he had a high tolerance.

He told the jury that he had explained to Jackson the risks of the anesthesia, including organ damage, heart failure or death. Jackson, he said, would say, "Stop, you've done enough. I've got it."

Fournier testified he questioned Jackson about use of medications to ensure there would be no adverse reaction with sedatives. Fournier says there came a time he believed Jackson was not telling the truth.

Under sedation in 2003, he said Jackson's breathing suddenly dropped. Fournier said he had to stabilize Jackson three times. Jurors heard earlier that in that same year, Dr. Alimorad Farschian treated Jackson for Demerol addiction and had placed in Jackson a naltroxene implant, which blocks the euphoric effect of opioids.

Fournier said Jackson never disclosed that. He testified that suspicions deepened when he talked to Jackson once on the phone and Jackson's speech was slurred. The final straw, he said, was when Jackson came to the surgery center and was not right. Fournier told the jury Jackson was "goofy, slow to respond."

Jackson denied any drug-use and Fournier canceled the treatment. He testified that Jackson, his friend by then, never contacted him again.

The defense team for AEG says the episode indicates Jackson's use of painkillers and propofol seven years before Jackson partnered with the concert promoter for the "This Is It" show.

Katherine Jackson's lawsuit alleges that the company is liable because it failed to supervise Conrad Murray, the doctor whose use of propofol at Jackson's home caused the star's death. Under cross examination, the defense elicited that Jackson never asked Fournier for drugs or propofol and that the choice of sedation drugs was all Fournier's.


Load Comments