SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A judge has dropped Michael Jackson from a lawsuit filed by the family of a woman who died at a hospital soon after she was moved to make room for the pop star.
Judge Rodney Melville on Tuesday dropped Jackson from the lawsuit against Marian Medical Center in response to a challenge from Jackson's attorney, Timothy Gorry. Melville rejected a similar motion by an attorney for the hospital.
The attorneys could not be reached for comment Wednesday, and a phone message left for a Jackson representative was not immediately returned.
The family of Manuela Gomez Ruiz had sued Jackson and Marian Medical Center for infliction of emotional and mental distress, claiming she was kept from critical care after she had a heart attack on the same day Jackson was brought in with flu-like symptoms during his 2005 child-molestation trial. Jackson was acquitted in the case.
The lawsuit said the 73-year-old Ruiz was on life-support after a massive heart attack and was moved from a two-bed room so Jackson could occupy it by himself. It complained of an "outrageous, circus-like atmosphere" in the last hours of Ruiz's life.