LOS ANGELES: Michael Jackson had levels of drugs in his body consistent with someone undergoing major surgery on the day he died in 2009, a coroner’s expert said.

The 50-year-old died from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, given by his doctor Conrad Murray to help the singer with chronic insomnia during rehearsals for a doomed series of concerts in London.

Daniel Anderson, a Los Angeles County coroner’s office criminalist, testified that Jackson had lidocaine, diazepam, nordiazepam, lorazepam, midazolam in his system. But the propofol was of most concern, he said. “It raises a red flag in my eyes,” he told the LA Superior Court, adding: It’s very problematic to find it outside the hospital setting.”

The level was “consistent with major surgery anesthesia,” said Anderson, noting that a level of 3.2 milligrammes per millilitre of blood was found in Jackson’s body.

Jackson’s 82-year-old mother is suing concert promoter AEG Live for allegedly negligently hiring Murray, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 over the star’s death.

AEG Live claims that Jackson himself hired Murray and was responsible for him, adding that it will produce evidence during the trial that the singer had used propofol since the 1990s, and had long been addicted to painkillers.–AFP