Astroworld Festival victims remembered, update on lawsuits against Travis Scott

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HOUSTON (KIAH) —Lawsuits are piling up less than a week after the deadly crowd crush at the Astroworld concert in Houston. Legal experts say the risk is mounting that juries could decide against rapper Travis Scott and the companies behind the event that killed eight people and left hundreds injured.

Scott’s past incitement of concertgoers offers a history that could make it easier to pursue negligence claims related to the show. Although the investigations have just begun, experts expect dozens more lawsuits to be filed. The damages could climb into hundreds of millions of dollars. At the center of the legal maelstrom is Scott, a 30-year-old rapper famous for whipping fans into a frenzy.

More lawsuits continue to roll in as victims in the Astroworld tragedy look for legal recourse after Friday’s Travis Scott concert left eight concert-goers dead and several injured.

Edgar Acosta says his 21-year-old son, Axel Acosta, loved rap music and went to Scott’s Astroworld music festival on Friday to enjoy himself. Instead, his family is now grieving a life cut short.

“I lost my son. It could’ve been you,” Acosta said. “He was a great kid, excellent student…he was trying to study and going to school to be an engineer or computer programmer.”

The Harris County Medical Examiner’s office released the names of all eight people who died as a result of Friday’s concert. A spokesperson said the autopsies are completed, but it is too soon to determine cause and manner of death, saying it could take several weeks.

Widely renowned Texas attorney Tony Buzbee said on Monday his firm is filing suit on behalf of 35 plaintiffs, including Acosta and possibly more.

“Certainly neither Travis Scott nor his handlers, entourage, managers, agents, promoters, organizers, or sponsors cared enough about Axel to make even a minimal effort to keep him and the others at the concert safe,” Buzbee said.

Joel Acosta, brother of Axel Acosta, looks into the camera at a news conference with a family attorney in Houston on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. Acosta’s brother was killed at a concert in Houston on Nov. 5. (AP Photo/Robert Bumsted)

The Acosta family is one of dozens already suing, or planning to sue. Beginning Saturday, several lawsuits were filed against Travis Scott — whose real name is Jacques Berman Webster III — as well as Live Nation, the event organizer. Buzbee said he plans to sue Live Nation on behalf of his clients.

More than 10 victims of last week’s terrifying crowd crush disaster at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival have retained Jim Adler & Associates to prosecute their personal injury claims related to the tragedy. Each of the individuals who retained the firm are among those who suffered serious injuries.

Two more victims, Oscar Villanueva and Joseph Ferguson, each filed lawsuits against Scott, Cactus Jack Records, and other entities seeking damages worth $1 million. Villanueva claims that he was trampled in the crowd as he attempted to perform CPR on an unconscious person.

Attorney Benny Agosto Jr. of the law firm Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner claims that the incident compares to the 2019 Astroworld Festival, when the crowd knocked down barricades to force themselves into the concert.

“This tragic event was totally preventable. The defendants failed to properly staff the event just like in 2019 and an even worse result occurred.,” Agosto said. “The community is saddened, outraged, and, in this lawsuit, we are sending a message that this needs to stop.”

The attorney pointed out lengthy list of past allegations and lawsuits against Live Nation — a company that promotes, operates, and manages ticket sales for live entertainment. Buzbee was also quick to point out Travis Scott’s criminal history.

A brief history of chaos at Travis Scott concerts

August 2015: Scott pleaded guilty to reckless conduct charges following a 2015 incident at Lollapalooza, a music festival in Chicago. Security workers cut his set short after he encouraged fans to jump over the security gates.

May 2017: Scott was arrested after a concert in Rogers, Arkansas, where police said he incited a riot. They claimed he encouraged people to rush to the stage and bypass security. He later plead guilty to disorderly conduct, but the other two charges were dropped.

November 2019: Three people were transported to a local hospital with minor leg injuries after they were trampled at Scott’s show during his 2019 Astroworld Festival in Houston.

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