*A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Michael Jackson’s companies, saying they had no legal obligation to protect boys from sexual abuse.
A Los Angeles judge ruled on Monday that Wade Robson, who is featured in the 2019 HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” cannot sue Jackson’s businesses, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, over the childhood sexual abuse he allegedly suffered at the hands of the singer for seven years.
Here’s more from Variety:
The suit was first dismissed on statute of limitations grounds, but was revived in 2020 after California amended its state law to give plaintiffs in child sex abuse cases more time to sue. Robson had accused Jackson’s loan-out companies, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, of facilitating the singer’s abuse against him and others. In his ruling, Judge Mark A. Young held that the companies had no ability to control Jackson because Jackson wholly owned both of them throughout his life. Young dismissed a similar suit brought by James Safechuck, the other subject of “Leaving Neverland,” on the same grounds last October. That case is now on appeal.
Robson’s attorney, Vince Finaldi, intends to appeal the decision.
“If allowed to stand, the decision would set a dangerous precedent that would leave thousands of children working in the entertainment industry vulnerable to sexual abuse by persons in places of power,” Finaldi said in a statement. “The children of our state deserve protection, and we will not stop fighting until we [ensure] that every child is safe.”
Jonathan Steinsapir, the attorney representing Jackson’s corporations, praised the judge’s ruling.
“Wade Robson has spent the last eight years pursuing frivolous claims in different lawsuits against Michael Jackson’s estate and companies associated with it,” Steinsapir said a motion for summary judgment. “Robson has taken nearly three dozen depositions and inspected and presented hundreds of thousands of documents trying to prove his claims, yet a Judge has once again ruled that Robson’s claims have no merit whatsoever, that no trial is necessary and that his latest case is dismissed.”
He also explained why Jackson’s companies can not be held responsible for the abuse Wade and Safechuck allegedly suffered.
“There was no way for the corporations to supervise or exert control over Jackson, their sole shareholder,” said Steinsapir. “The Corporations therefore had no ability — and thus no duty — to protect Plaintiff from Jackson’s alleged criminal conduct as a matter of law.”