Chapter The U.S. Court of Appeals says the Michael Jackson case may be reopened

A US court judge has ruled that two people who claim they were abused as children by Michael Jackson can withdraw their lawsuit against his company.

According to Wade Robson and James Safechuck, both in their 40s, they were abused by Jackson as children.

They can pursue closed cases against music companies. They say companies have a duty to protect them.

Lawyers for Jackson, who died in 2009, maintain his innocence.

Mr Robson and Mr Safechuck say they were abused by Jackson when they lived at his Neverland farm in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The information was revealed in the 2019 documentary Leaving Neverland, which the Jackson family described as "disturbing".

A year later, the same judge found Mr Robson guilty on similar grounds.

But on Friday, a California appeals court disagreed, saying "an organization dealing with child abuse by an employee cannot be held responsible for protecting children because he is the sole owner of the person who did the oppression".

"It is dangerous not to be able to find a job because the defendant is a shareholder," the court ruled. “We are going to reverse the decisions made against the organization.”

Mr. Safechuck and Mr. Robson’s attorney, Vince Finaldi, said the court’s “draconian sentences in these cases violate California law and set a bad example of harming children.”

Jackson estate attorney Jonathan Steinsapir said he was "very confident" in Jackson's innocence, adding that the allegations were "contradicted by credible and independent evidence".

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