SAFETY

New lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 280 Astroworld Festival concertgoers

Nov 19, 2021, 9:11 PM | Updated: 9:50 pm
A lawsuit has been filed against the Astroworld Festival that killed ten people.  (AP Photo/Robert ...
A lawsuit has been filed against the Astroworld Festival that killed ten people. (AP Photo/Robert Bumsted)
(AP Photo/Robert Bumsted)

  (CNN) — A new lawsuit has been filed on behalf of more than 280 Astroworld Festival concertgoers, the Thomas J. Henry Law firm announced in a news release Thursday.

Ten people died as a result of the chaotic crowd surge at the Houston concert when headliner Travis Scott began performing on November 5.

The suit, filed Wednesday, names defendants including Apple Music, Scott, the rapper Drake and Live Nation, alleging they were negligent and stood to make “an exorbitant amount of money” from the event but chose to “cut corners, cut costs and put the festival attendees at risk.”

“Many in the crowd were knocked to the ground and trampled, some were trapped and crushed against other concert attendees, while others were compressed against metal barricades,” the lawsuit says. “The resulting catastrophic incident and carnage were easily foreseeable and preventable had the Defendants acted in a reasonably prudent manner in planning a large-scale festival like Astroworld Fest.”

CNN reached out to the defendants but did not immediately hear back. Scott said in a statement following the event he was “devastated” about what happened. He also pledged to cover all funeral costs for the victims.

Live Nation previously said in a statement it was “heartbroken for those lost and impacted” and “will continue working to provide as much information and assistance as possible to the local authorities as they investigate the situation.”

Drake said in a statement posted on Instagram last week his “heart is broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering. I will continue to pray for all of them, and will be of service in any way I can.”

The lawsuit seeks $2 billion in damages resulting from “extreme pain and suffering, loss of earnings, emotional distress and medical expenses.”

“My clients want to ensure the defendants are held responsible for their actions, and they want to send the message to all performers, event organizers, and promoters that what happened at Astroworld cannot happen again,” attorney Thomas J. Henry said in a statement.

At least 140 lawsuits have been filed in connection to the festival tragedy, according to Harris County District Court records.

separate lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 125 plaintiffs earlier this week is seeking more than $750 million in damages to “fix, help or make up for the harms and losses suffered” by them. Among the plaintiffs is the family of Axel Acosta Avila, a 21-year-old college junior from Tieton, Washington, who died at the event.

 

Witnesses described event as traumatizing

Houston Fire Department Logs obtained by CNN last week show spectators at the event had already breached the main gate of the festival shortly after the 9 a.m. start time and that at least eight more breaches were reported throughout the day. Shortly before 5 p.m., Houston police reported “dangerous crowd conditions” at one stage.

Minutes before Scott took the stage at 9 p.m., more than 260 people had already been treated, according to the logs. At 9:33 p.m., the police reported “multiple people trampled, passed out at front stage.” A “Level One MCI” — mass casualty incident — was reported at 9:52 p.m., according to the logs.

Between 10 p.m. to roughly 11:40 p.m., 17 people had been transported to hospitals, including at least six in cardiac arrests.

Alex Pollak, the CEO of the medic company hired by the festival’s organizers, said this week his staff had to treat 11 people with cardiac arrests at the same time.

“This is something I’ll have nightmares about for the rest of my life,” Pollak said. “The team is extremely broken up about it. Seeing so many young people getting CPR at one time, it’s just something no one should have to go through.”

Witnesses described traumatizing conditions, some saying they saw lifeless bodies being trampled amid the chaos while others had to fight their way out of the crowd as the music continued.

“It felt like it was the end for me,” said attendee Selena Beltran, describing losing her balance as a crowd around her began jumping. “To think that’s how I’ll die, I was so scared.”

“I did not know what to do. It was all happening so fast, but so slow and I couldn’t react. I just screamed,” Beltran added.

It is unclear what Scott saw from the stage and whether he was aware of the crowd conditions, but he continued to perform until about 10:10 p.m. Scott’s attorney said the artist did not know of the mass casualty declaration until the following morning.

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New lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 280 Astroworld Festival concertgoers