The paramedic who attempted to save Michael Jackson's life on the day the King of Pop passed away has testified in court that the tragic singer looked like "a cancer patient" who had come home to die.

Richard Senneff became the first witness to take the stand in Katherine Jackson's civil wrongful death trial against the bosses of Aeg Live on Tuesday (30Apr13).

The Los Angeles paramedic, who was the first responder at Jackson's Holmby Hills mansion on 25 June, 2009, recalled the singer's deathly look.

Senneff told the court that Jackson's body was pale and that he was so underweight his ribs were showing.

The paramedic said, "He looked like someone who was at the end stage of a long disease process."

He described the scene in Jackson's bedroom upon his arrival, stating there were oxygen tanks, an intravenous (Iv) pole and an Iv bag by the pop star's bed. And he told the court that Jackson's physician Dr. Conrad Murray, who told him he was a cardiologist, was present, "sweating" and "very pale".

Senneff testified Murray told him he was treating the patient for dehydration and exhaustion and insisted Jackson was not taking any medication, but the suspicious paramedic said, "It just looked a lot more complicated than dehydration and exhaustion."

Murray is currently behind bars serving an involuntary manslaughter sentence after being convicted of administering the dose of anaesthetic propofol, which killed the pop star.

The wrongful death suit against Aeg was filed by the singer's mother, Katherine, and his three children. The Jackson family matriarch claims Aeg bosses pushed her son beyond his limits and hired Murray to make sure he was capable of fulfilling his commitment to perform 50 This Is It comeback shows in London.

The company's lawyers insist Jackson was the one who brought in Murray.

The trial is expected to last several weeks.