Astroworld Tragedy Continues to Unfold

Just two weeks ago I shared an article, “Astroworld Festival Tragedy Raises Concerns About Concert Safety,” which was—as the title suggests—about the tragedies that occurred at Travis Scott’s November 5, 2021 show. Over the two weeks that have passed since this first article, Scott has been hit with approximately 200 lawsuits, with 10 confirmed fan deaths and hundreds of injuries. Currently, the lawsuits against Scott amount to nearly $2 billion in damages, with over 400 individuals suing overall. 

Given the high volume of lawsuits, it’s reasonable that many of the cases encompass multiple plaintiffs filing suit against Scott. On November 17, 2021, Billboard reported a new case that is made up of 125 plaintiffs who were victims at the Astroworld show that are seeking damages of $750,000. In the particular case discussed by Billboard, the attorney of the case, Tony Buzbee, stated in the complaint against Scott, “The deaths and injuries that occurred were needless and senseless, and the suffering caused the families and all others involved will be endless.” Buzbee has a history of working with high profile injury cases, and told Billboard that he anticipates this Astroworld case to see a similar settlement to the $2.1 billion BP refinery lawsuit from 2005. 

People posted messages to victims on a gate outside the Astroworld festival site during a vigil on Saturday.
Friends and family commemorate Astroworld victims at the site of the tragedy. Photo credit: NYTimes.

Since the event resulted in a severe crowd crush, a majority of the plaintiffs are suing for injuries relating to the crush, such as cardiac arrests, collapsed lungs, and other physical harm pertaining to the surge. Now that a couple of weeks have passed since the incident, other injuries are becoming obvious among victims. For example, a high-school student filed suit against Scott two weeks after the incident for a collapsed lung which he believes to be the result of the crowd surge at the event. It isn’t unlikely for other similar situations to continue to arise over the next few weeks, as the types of injuries suffered from the concert may vary among attendees. 

As mentioned in my first article, Scott is not the only defendant named in these lawsuits. Other defendants include ScoreMore, Live Nation, Drake, Contemporary Services Corp. ASM Global, and others. The hundreds of plaintiffs allege in their cases that all of the named defendants were negligent and contributed to the poor conditions that led to the chaos that ensued. With such a high number of plaintiffs bringing claims against Scott and the other defendants, it’s likely that the defendants will settle in order to avoid going in front of a jury. With the overwhelming amount of evidence demonstrating negligence on behalf of the defendants, it will also be in their best interest to come to a settlement agreement. 

However, there are some legal experts who claim that Scott may actually be dismissed from the case. According to these experts, proving Scott liable for the damages requires proof that Scott himself had directly incited the violence. While Scott may have a history of violent behavior, that may not be enough for the plaintiffs in these cases. Additionally, Scott’s attorney has stated that Scott was unaware of the tragedies that ensued during his performance—Scott reportedly did not learn of the casualties until the next morning. Scott has also seemed genuinely concerned about the events that took place, commenting on the situation on social media and offering to pay for the funeral costs of his fans who died at his show. Although suing Scott may seem like the most obvious answer, realistically, he was there to perform—the handling of fans and security is not necessarily something that he should be in charge of at these events. Whether or not Scott is actually dismissed from the case, his recent removal from Fortnite is a strong indication that he will likely struggle to obtain many deals or other promotions in the near future.  

In 2020 Fortnite teamed up with Travis Scott to allow players to purchase a playable version of the rapper. Photo credit: Fortnite via Twitter

Given the high demand for legal representation for Astroworld victims, sites like AstroWorldFestClaims.com have been established to provide free astroworld case evaluations for victims in need. This website in particular, which is implemented by Pintas & Mullins PR LLC Injury Lawyers, highlights the issues that occurred on November 5, 2021 and provides an easily accessible place for victims to seek legal advice. This website further provides examples of other similar cases, such as the 1979 tragedy at the Who concert and the 2000 tragedy during a Pearl Jam performance at a music festival. The amount of information regarding the elements of this case on this Astroworld site makes it clear that the attorneys are confident they have a strong case against Travis Scott, and rightfully so. It’s a little concerning to see a website for a lawsuit regarding Astroworld that bears a resemblance to a firm that handles more common cases like asbestos or car accidents. The fact that there’s a website designated specifically for the victims of Astroworld really highlights the severity of the situation. 

While these cases are only a few weeks old and there is still likely a significant amount of information that needs to be unearthed, the fact that this concert was a true tragedy will remain the same. Rather than leaving Astroworld with some memories and a concert tee shirt, hundreds of people have found themselves tied up in massive lawsuits that, hopefully, can set the course for safer concerts and live events going forward.

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