LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The promoters of what was to have been Michael Jackson's comeback concerts were dropped on Tuesday from a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the singer's father Joe.
Joe Jackson had alleged that promoters AEG Live were negligent in hiring Dr. Conrad Murray to care for Jackson as he prepared for the 2009 concerts.
But a Los Angeles judge ruled that AEG Live should not be a defendant in Joe Jackson's lawsuit while the company is already named in a separate lawsuit filed by the "Thriller" singer's mother Katherine Jackson.
AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam called the decision "a major victory" for the concert promoter, which has denied any wrongdoing.
Murray was convicted in November of the involuntary manslaughter of Jackson, 50, through an overdose of the anesthetic propofol and sedatives. He is serving four years in a Los Angeles county jail.
Tuesday's decision leaves Murray and a Las Vegas pharmacy that supplied the propofol as the remaining defendants in Joe Jackson's civil lawsuit. That case has a preliminary hearing set for January 28 2013.
Katherine Jackson's lawsuit, which alleges that AEG is responsible for the medical decisions made by Murray, is set for trial in September 2012.
Jackson died on June 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, after returning from rehearsals for the series of London concerts that were due to start on July 8.
Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte