Houston, TX

Two lawsuits filed for Astroworld Festival tragedy

Quest for the Forgotten

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Astroworld's Theatrical Set(Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP) (Amy Harris,2021 Invision)

According to the Houston Chronicle the first lawsuit has been filed in the aftermath of the Astroworld tragedy. Concertgoer Manuel Souza is a 35-year-old Houston man that was one of the numerous attendees that were treated for various injuries during the tragedy of Astroworld that left eight dead.

The $1M lawsuit is against Travis Scott, his record label, promotion companies Live Nation and Scoremore, among others, for negligence. Souza’s lawyers say the melee that seriously injured their client was a "horrible — yet predictable and preventable — tragedy." The lawsuit goes on to say that Scott and promoters failed to make the event secure and safe.

Attorney Kevin Haynes, of Kherkher Garcia, LLP, stated that his client’s lawsuit is the first on record. Though, it won’t be the last, as the second lawsuit has also been filed—with this one also naming Drake as a negligible party.

The Daily Mail has reported that 23-year-old Kristian Paredes from Austin, Texas, filed the complaint. The lawsuit states that Drake “came on stage alongside Travis Scott and helped incite the crowd.”

Paredes is accusing the rappers, Live Nation Entertainment Inc., and Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation of negligence.

“Many begged security guards hired by Live Nation Entertainment for help, but were ignored,” the lawsuit says. Texas attorney, Thomas J. Henry, is representing Paredes. He states,

'There is no excuse for the events that unfolded at NRG Stadium on Friday night'

What was supposed to be a night of music and connecting with other fans, turned into a trauma-filled nightmare that tragically claimed the lives of eight. The youngest of the victims was 14-year old John Hilgert, a ninth-grade student at Memorial High School, according to a letter from school administrators sent Saturday to parents.

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Texas High School freshman John Hilgert, 14, identified as youngest Astroworld victim(Photo Sourced from TMZ)

Astroworld is a music festival founded by the 30-year-old Houston native and famous rapper Travis Scott. This year was the third festival since its inception in 2018. The festival was held at the NRG Park. The full 2021 lineup included SZA, Tame Impala, Bad Bunny, Earth, Wind & Fire, 21 Savage, Baby Keem, Chief Keef, Master P, BIA, Don Toliver, Young Thug, and several other guests.

Houston Fire Chief, Sam Peña, says that the festival turned tragic when the crowd "for whatever reason began to push and surge towards the front of the stage, which caused the people in the front to be compressed.”

According to CNN 300 people were treated at a field hospital set up near the festival. Additionally, twenty-three people were taken to hospitals, eight have been confirmed dead. The youngest that has been confirmed hospitalized is a 10-year-old. Houston mayor Turner confirmed five of the victims are under the age of 18, with one victim age yet unknown.

Fans are furious at the response of both Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner—both of whom have cut the comments off on their social media pages. Travis took to Twitter to express his condolences and regret about the tragic loss of life.

Travis also gave what many considered a lackluster apology on his IG story.

Kylie Jenner did the same. In a now-deleted statement on IG Kylie stated,

Travis and I are broken and devastated. My thoughts and prayers are with all who lost their lives, were injured or affected in any way by yesterday's events. And also, for Travis who I know cares deeply for his fans and the Houston community.

Several fans have come forward saying the rapper flat out refused to stop the show. In varying videos that have popped up on the internet, Travis is seen performing as if everything was normal, even in full view of medical units performing CPR.

Kylie did not get off without criticism. Several fans have criticized her for her seemingly inauthentic apology. They stated that in now-deleted Instagram stories, Kylie put pictures of the event on her IG stories showing the ambulance in the crowd.

Several fans have come forward and stated staff and Travis himself refused to stop the show and offer assistance. Cody Hart, a festival attendee, posted about his harrowing experience on Twitter writing,

I screamed for help so many times, alerted security, asked everyone in the crowd if there was anyone who was CPR certified. Every call went unanswered. I was told, 'we already know, and we can’t do anything to stop the show, they’re streaming live' Disgusting.

In another video released by festival-goers, a male and female subject are seen pleading for the concert to be stopped advising that there were people dead on the floor.

This is not the first time there have been injuries at Astroworld. In 2017 Kyle Green, 27, was injured at Scott’s April 30th concert at Terminal 5 in Manhattan. During the show, Scott was caught on video encouraging a different fan to drop down from the second-floor balcony into the crowd below.

Travis reportedly told a different fan that dangled from the balcony,

I see you, but are you gonna do it? They gonna catch you. Don’t be scared. Don’t be scared!

Unlike that fan, who appeared to dangle and drop willingly, Green says he was forced over the edge of the higher railing at what he’s called a “severely crowded” and out-of-control event. According to a lawsuit filed six months later in October 2017, Green broke several bones including vertebrae in his fall and was confined to a wheelchair when the lawsuit was first filed.

With all of the chaos, several other lawsuits are likely to be filed. Neither Travis Scott nor Roc Nation has released a comment about the pending lawsuits that have been filed. Additionally, there has been no word on what provisions, if any, will be made for the victims in this senseless and preventable tragedy.

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