Judge: Joe Jackson Can Get Michael's Medical Files

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010  |  Updated 2:52 PM EDT
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Judge: Joe Jackson Can Get Michael's Medical Files

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Joe Jackson is fighting the lawyers administering son Michael's estate.

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Michael Jackson's father can receive some medical records related to his superstar son's death, a judge ruled Friday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff ruled that Joe Jackson can receive his son's medical records from the hospital where he died. The judge will review the records first before releasing them to Joe Jackson's attorney, Brian Oxman. Beckloff also said the men can only receive records generated on or after June 25 — the day Michael Jackson died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Oxman sought the files as part of an effort to obtain a monthly stipend for the Jackson family patriarch. He said during a hearing last week that he also needs the records to decide whether to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

Beckloff's order states a medical expert hired by Joe Jackson can review the files, but not copy them. Anyone who sees the records will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement, the ruling states.

Jackson's estate had sought to quash subpoenas that Oxman issued for the files. Attorneys for the estate argued during a hearing last week that Beckloff should review the files first. They also stated the files shouldn't be released until after the results of a May hearing on Joe Jackson's stipend bid.

Oxman said he was pleased with the ruling and expects to have the records soon.

Beckloff is going to verify the records do not violate doctor-patient confidentiality. Oxman said he didn't expect that to be an issue.

"We are very certain based on prior records that we have from the paramedics that Michael was long deceased and that there were no communications (with doctors)," Oxman said.

He said Joe Jackson deserves to know more about how his son died and the records will also be important in his quest to receive an allowance of more than $15,000 per month.

Howard Weitzman, an attorney for Jackson's estate, said the ruling properly incorporates suggestions attorneys raised last week.

"The estate feels the court's order adequately protects Michael's interests," Weitzman said.

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