Katherine Jackson’s wrongful death suit against Michael’s concert promoter AEG took another turn for the worse today. According to E!News, the judge has dismissed AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips and executive Paul Gongaware as defendants in Jackson’s wrongful death lawsuit, in which she is claiming a billion in damages.

Now the company as a whole is left as the sole defendant. Katherine Jackson’s claim is that AEG were negligent in hiring Dr Conrad Murray, who administered a lethal dose of Propofol to Jackson in 2009. Murray was subsequently convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 and sentenced to four years in prison.

The lengthy and complicated trial is now in its fifth month. It is expected to go to jury sometime during this month. Defense attorneys for AEG maintain that Jackson was making decisions of his own free will and that it was his choice to bring Murray onboard. The dismissal of accusations against Phillips and Gongaware is a significant break in the case.

Attorney Marvin Putnam, lead trial counsel for the defendants, said in a statement for E!News: "Phillips and Gongaware should never have been sued in the first place. They are vindicated now that the court has thrown out the case against them."

While Katherine Jackson still has a chance of winning her suit against the company, this dismissal could spell bad news for her case overall.

Michael Jackson, Medical Center
The King of Pop died at age fifty from a Propofol overdose.

Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson One Premiere
Katherine Jackson is now suing AEG for $1 billion.