A California judge dismissed a lawsuit from one of the men who has alleged that the late musician Michael Jackson abused him as a child
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark A. Young ruled on Tuesday that James Safechuck, who has alleged that Jackson sexually abused him during the late 1980s and early 1990s, could not sue two corporations Jackson owned, MJJ Productions Inc. and MJJ Ventures Inc.
The judge ruled that Safechuck’s lawsuit did not demonstrate that the corporations were required to protect him from Jackson. The judge also ruled that it was not proven that the companies had the ability to discipline Jackson at the time of the alleged abuse, according to multiple reports.
Jackson estate attorneys Howard Weitzman and Jonathan Steinsapir said in a statement that “We are pleased that the court dismissed Mr. Safechuck’s case by ruling that he had no grounds to pursue such a lawsuit,” The Associated Press reported.
Safechuck’s lawyer, Vince Finaldi, told USA Today that they would be appealing the decision.
“We believe it ignores well-established California law and would set a dangerous precedent that leaves children unprotected,” Finaldi said in a statement to USA TODAY. “The notion that these companies owed no duty to protect Mr. Safechuck – who was a young boy working for them at the time – from a known pedophile, attempts to turn decades of child sexual abuse rulings and statutes on their head.”
The case was previously dismissed in 2017. However, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed legislation earlier this year granting childhood sexual abuse victims a longer window to file lawsuits.
Jackson’s estate has denied sexual abuse allegations from Safechuck and other individuals. The estate sued HBO for airing a documentary last year titled “Leaving Neverland,” in which Safechuck and another man, Wade Robson, made abuse accusations.