Travis Scott Named in Astroworld Festival Wrongful Death Suits
Last updated Monday, December 12th, 2022
Astroworld Festival – Wrongful Death Suits
Multiple wrongful death lawsuits have been filed because of the Astroworld Festival disaster. Rapper Travis Scott is one of the parties named in these suits. The tragedy claimed the lives of at least 10 people. Hundreds more were injured.
How could what was supposed to be a fun concert turn into such a nightmare? Fingers are not just being pointed at Scott. Many others have been named alongside him in these lawsuits. Could defendants have prevented these needless deaths?
Representing attorneys say a resounding, “yes.” Which people are ultimately to blame for this horrific event? What should have been done to keep attendees out of harm’s way? Why weren’t steps taken to keep the concert safe?
Similar tragedies have happened before. Things must change. Perhaps the lawsuits that hold Scott and others accountable can bring awareness to making venues safer.
Have you lost a loved one due to another’s negligence? Murphy Law Firm offers an affordable solution that works. We can review your case at no cost. Contact us to find out how we can help. We’ve got the experience you need to get you fairly compensated.
What Happened at the Astroworld Festival?
Ten people died, and scores were injured after a crowd surged forward at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas on Friday, November 5.
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said during a news conference that the crowd surge caused a “mass casualty incident.”
Peña noted that nearly 50,000 individuals attended the music festival, explaining that around 9 p.m. the crowd had “began to compress toward the front of the stage,” which caused panic and injuries. The incident took place at the sold-out outdoor festival, which was held at NRG Park.
The crowd surge, “was from panic because people were running for safety,” a source close to the investigation told Us Weekly. During the show, Scott paused his performance, “three times” to ask what had happened, according to one source.
Once the dust settled, eleven people were dead including an unborn baby. Plaintiffs claim a miscarriage was caused by the events that ensued during the commotion. Hundreds sustained injuries that needed extensive treatment. More than 1,600 people were injured less severely.
Loved ones are gone. Families are now incomplete – all because of a show gone awry. People want answers and rightfully so. Working with a savvy attorney can get you the compensation you’re entitled to and justice for family members.
Travis Scott Named in Wrongful Death Suits
Known to his fans as Travis Scott, Jacques Bermon Webster II, was born on April 30, 1991. The Houston native was raised by his grandmother during his early childhood. Scott graduated high school when he was just 17.
After attending the University of Texas at San Antonio for a year, he left to focus on his music. He made it to Los Angeles and was noticed by T.I. Scott’s career then began to snowball, making him a household name.
He kicked off the Astroworld Festival in 2018, a few months after releasing an album title featuring the same name. Held near the site of the former amusement park, the event paid homage to one of Scott’s favorite places as a child, Six Flags Astroworld.
The concert took place in 2018 and 2019 but was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Then in 2021, the event came back. Tickets to this sought-after festival sold out in less than an hour. There were 100,000 tickets sold.
Have there been similar incidents that resulted in deaths before? Yes. So why is a lead performer like Scott being held liable? This concert was different.
Neither performer was sued for wrongful death in the following examples:
- Eleven people died because of a crowd surge in 1979 at a concert given by the Who.
- Nine attendees died due to trampling at a Pearl Jam concert in 2000.
Why is Scott being blamed for events at the 2021 Astroworld Festival? There are a few reasons. His involvement didn’t stop at performing on stage. Scott was responsible for also organizing and supervising the concert.
The evening in question led to him being named in wrongful death lawsuits. Why? Some argue that Scott is guilty because of his:
- Failure in Duty of Care. The entertainer is accused of not ensuring that proper precautions were taken to safeguard attendees. Security measures are under scrutiny. On-site medics may not have had the necessary access so they could assist victims. Supervision, planning, and the event as a whole are now in question.
- Incitement of Violence. Scott’s past came back to haunt him. He was arrested for disorderly conduct in 2015 after encouraging Lollapalooza concertgoers to rush the stage. He was also arrested under similar circumstances in 2017 after a performance in Arkansas. There are other incidents in this same vein. Then there was the injury-causing crowd surge event at the Astroworld Festival in 2019. And let’s not forget his since-deleted tweet in May of 2021, “we still sneaking the wild ones in.” This social media post let fans know that it was fine to get into the venue however possible. Later that year, groups of unticketed people hopped turnstiles to get into the festival.
- Lack of Warning. Some believe Scott knew the dangers that could come of such a massive event. Instead of taking the time and effort to warn everyone, nothing was done. If crowds had been aware of potential dangers, they could have made their own decisions. But the choice was made for them, and people died.
- Motivation. Why did Scott fail to protect his fans? There are certain people who feel he would rather keep more money in his own pockets than prevent mass chaos. Was profit something that drove him to make decisions that caused such a tragedy? Some of the lawsuits that name Scott make this allegation.
- Promoting Risk. Another hard pill to swallow for victims and their families is how Scott was seen as egging on the idea of going wild. The event’s agenda was pushing lawlessness, chaos, and turmoil instead of fun. When personal safety takes a backseat to anarchy, what good can come?
- Response. One of the most disturbing pieces of this sad puzzle is Scott’s reaction to the mayhem. His blatant refusal to swiftly end his performance is not so easily forgotten. After people were injured, killed, and carried away on stretchers, he continued. He denies knowing that anything serious had happened. Victims and their families think otherwise.
FAQs About This Incident
Who is Responsible for the Deaths?
While there may not have been malicious intent involved, it doesn’t matter if people still died. Below is a sampling of some of the defendants named besides Scott:
- Apple Music. The lawsuit filed on behalf of a concertgoer, Kristian Paredes, maintains that this company knowingly chose profit over precaution. The suit explains, “Early reports from the investigation of the Astroworld catastrophe indicate that the premises were arranged in a fashion that best served Apple’s online streaming of the concert at the detriment to concertgoer safety.”
- ASM Global, LLC. Headquartered in Los Angeles, this large company works with venue owners around the world. NRG Stadium is managed by this giant in the live performance industry. Event strategy is supposed to be a specialty but apparently, it wasn’t during the Astroworld Festival. Also named are ASM Global Parent, Inc., Keith Butler, Houston’s ASM Global senior national sales manager, and Mark Miller, general manager of ASM Global – NRG Park.
- Cactus Jack Records, LLC. Founded by Scott, this music production label is also taking some heat. Perhaps this hip-hop record company is being held accountable because the two go hand in hand.
- Contemporary Service Corporation (CSC). This company was contracted to handle security and control the crowd. Self-proclaimed as a leader in the crowd management industry, this company is in the hot seat as well. Reports of rushed hiring beforehand, questionable reaction to the crowd surge, and issues at past events are being investigated.
- Drake. The popular rapper from Canada was a guest performer who joined Scott on stage. There are allegations that he may have known about the trouble before performing and that he urged unruly behavior from the fans.
- Epic Records. Owned by Sony Music Entertainment, this record label may also be held liable. Lawsuits allege this company was poised to rake in big bucks from the concert.
- Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and Live Nation Worldwide, Inc. Congress has even stepped in demanding answers from this concert promoter and live entertainment ticket seller. Past safety violations and tragedies have been referenced. It seems this company has a history of carelessness. Subsidiaries Front Gate Ticketing Solutions and Bissonnet 136, LLC are included in some claims. The director of operations for Live Nation in Houston, Darryl Platt, has been named as well.
- Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation (HCSCC). Those in charge of what goes down at NRG Park are in this group. Did members properly manage and oversee the venue for Astroworld Festival?
- NRG Energy, Inc. The owner of the venue where the Astroworld Festival took place may be partially liable. State premises liability laws hold owners responsible for keeping properties safe.
- ParaDocs. This on-site medic company has come under fire for not being able to quickly help every injured person. Reports note that there were plenty of resources and trained medical workers present to treat victims.
- ScoreMore, LLC. This Austin-based company that promotes events manages performance artists and puts on festivals, may be at fault. According to the promoter’s 56-page safety plan, there were no specific measures in place to safely handle any potential crowd surge. ScoreMore Holdings, LLC and ScoreMore MGMT, LLC are also involved alongside ScoreMore founder, Sascha Stone Guttfreund.
- Trey Hicks and Trey Hicks Public Relations. Based in Austin, this consultant and his firm amped up publicity for the festival that led to a loss of life.
- Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group. Was this business management company partly to blame? Some attorneys think so.
- Valle Security Texas Services and Apex Security. A close look is being taken at how these two firms tried to keep the event safe. The companies were to provide security for the festival. Some claim their efforts fell short.
What Caused the Deaths?
The official cause of death for 10 victims is compression asphyxia. The eleventh death was an unborn child. The baby did not survive after its mother was intensely trampled. Every death resulted from the deadly crowd surge.
Compression asphyxia happens when a massive force literally squeezes the life out of a person. When people slam into someone, they can push all the air out of a victim’s lungs. Passing out is a certainty. After a few minutes, neither CPR nor anything else can revive them.
Can one person kill someone this way? No. But 50,000 people? Absolutely! Even if things go awry for just a minute or two, the crisis can quickly intensify. Large crowds like the one at the Astroworld Festival must be controlled to keep people safe.
Were the Deaths Preventable?
One hundred percent, yes! Much of what points to the root of the problem is planning, or lack of it. Proper steps should have been taken. Strict policies should have been put in place. Rules needed to be enforced. Then these eleven victims would have still been alive on November 6.
A well-thought-out plan for large events may include:
- Having skilled medics available
- Managing the crowd effectively
- Observing applicable laws
- Setting up the venue to discourage mayhem
- Using enough security guards who are properly trained
What Are the Financial Consequences of the Deaths?
Everyone directly involved is poised to take a financial hit. The long trail of money may eventually lead to some closure. Families of those killed may seek compensation for:
- Emotional trauma, pain and suffering
- Funeral costs
- Loss of companionship, comfort, and/or consortium
- Loss of income, financial support, and/or benefits
Now for the defendants, the financial fallout could get ugly. There have been lawsuits filed against Scott and others for billions of dollars. Paying just a percentage of the damages amount could hurt.
Bad publicity could also cost Scott quite a bit. The mass casualty event has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many. Canceled performances and brands postponing deals may be just the tip of the iceberg for this entertainer.
What is the Impact of the Deaths on the Victims’ Families and the Community?
Perhaps nobody will ever know the full extent of the damage that the Astroworld Festival has left. Outsiders can only speculate and listen to those closest to the victims. Houston is now forever stained by this unfortunate tragedy.
Among those killed were a 9-year-old, a 14-year-old, and a 16-year-old. These kids went to this concert; they never made it back to their homes. Who can say what devastation their loved ones are experiencing? These young victims could have lived full lives. Instead, there are just memories.
The oldest victim was 27. The youngest was not even born yet. What could these people have done with their lives? What could these individuals have added to the world? Now we will never know.
The Astroworld Festival’s legacy in this Texas city is a reminder of what can happen when profit trumps human life. While it’s easy to concentrate on negative aspects, there could be a positive result. If lessons are learned, this poster child for what can go wrong may help save future lives.
How Will the Deaths be Investigated?
Before lawsuits can forge too far ahead, a series of investigations must be done. Findings can then be used to prove claims. Many suits are alleging that certain people and/or companies be held accountable. A thorough investigation must be completed in order to confirm these theories.
Criminal and civil investigations will likely be lengthy. This event was huge. Many people and companies were involved. Uncovering who will be held legally responsible could take time.
Here are some moves that may be taken to establish what went down:
- Calling on expert witnesses
- Getting eyewitness accounts
- Digging up relevant histories of performers and firms to show potential pattern(s)
- Interviewing medical professionals who cared for victims
- Playing recordings to clarify areas of confusion
- Reading autopsy reports
- Reviewing related security logs
- Watching all types of event footage
What Can be Done to Prevent Similar Deaths in the Future?
The best time to make changes is now while this tragedy is still fresh. Deaths were preventable at the Astroworld Festival. Taking proactive measures can keep future events safe.
There are several factors involved but the one that seems to carry the most weight is basic crowd control. Organizing then carrying out a workable plan could pay off. Guesswork should never be attempted when dealing with sizeable crowds. The lives of attendees, employees, first responders, and even entertainers are at stake.
Enlisting the help of a professional crowd manager can work wonders. A crowd science specialist can study the site to find trouble spots ahead of time. Issues can be corrected by using the right strategies. Design elements can also be changed to head off potential problems.
The safer, more expensive, and time-consuming approach wins every time over the quicker, cheaper, and least-effective method. Using available resources and putting trained minds to task can save lives.