Travis Scott facing lawsuits over concert deaths. 8 people, aged 14 to 27, killed as crowd surged at Astroworld music festival.
Travis Scott and Drake are being sued for negligence after a crowd surge at Houston’s Astroworld music festival left eight people dead. One of the lawsuits accuses both rappers of ‘inciting a riot.’
Multiple lawsuits have been filed and a criminal investigation opened after eight people died and hundreds were injured in an apparent crowd surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival in Houston on Friday.
At least 14 civil lawsuits have been filed against promoter Live Nation Entertainment Inc., or a subsidiary, Live Nation Worldwide Inc.
According to court records. Of those, 10 name Scott — whose real name is Jacques Webster — as a defendant and one names Drake, a fellow rapper and guest performer.
The lawsuits generally claim that Live Nation acted negligently by failing to create and enforce proper safety protocols, failing to provide adequate security and failing to maintain proper crowd control. The victims were crushed in a chaotic surge near the stage, with some trampled and others unable to breathe.
Travis Scott facing lawsuits over concert deaths
“Conditions were created and consented to by the festival organizers that caused several stampedes and a crowd compression that resulted in the tragic deaths of eight individuals and the serious injuries of hundreds more,” according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of Houston resident Wasem Abulawi, who the suit says was “seriously and permanently injured.”
Concert planned ‘incredibly poorly’
“I think it’s self-evident that this concert was planned incredibly poorly,” lawyer Tony Buzbee told reporters in Houston on Monday. His law firm represents the family of one of the concertgoers who died and is reported to be suing organizers on behalf of multiple plaintiffs.
Kristian Paredes, a resident of Austin, Texas, who named Scott and Drake as defendants, said Scott had “incited mayhem or chaos at prior events” and that Toronto-born Drake was aware of Scott’s previous conduct.
Scott previously pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct charges related to two separate incidents of encouraging fans to rush the stage, once at a 2015 music festival in Chicago and later at a 2017 concert in Arkansas, local media in both places reported.
In a statement posted on his Instagram account Monday night, Drake issued his first comment on the tragedy, saying his “heart is broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering.”
What is the legal standard?
The most likely party to face liability would be the concert organizers and promoters who determined the level of security, said C.J. Baker, a Texas-based injury lawyer.
To prevail on a negligence theory, the plaintiffs must show that the defendants knew or should have known that there were actions they could have taken to prevent a foreseeable tragedy, Baker said.
As for Scott, his previous behaviour at concerts could help plaintiffs build a case against him, said Richard Mithoff, another personal injury lawyer from Houston.
“You have to know, at some point, that if you keep pushing it, this is the kind of tragedy that will result,” Mithoff said.
Scott’s record could help plaintiffs establish “gross negligence,” meaning an almost total disregard for others’ safety, Mithoff said.