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Astroworld victims sue Travis Scott and festival organizers

Mourners stand facing a chain link fence turned makeshift memorial at NRG Park in Houston.
Lucio Vasquez
Houston Public Media
Mourners stand outside a makeshift memorial at NRG Park, where on Friday eight people were killed when the crowd at the Astroworld Festival rushed toward the stage for rapper Travis Scott’s set.

More than a dozen victims from Friday night’s Astroworld Festival at NRG Park have filed lawsuits against concert organizers, according to records filed with the Harris County District Clerk’s Office on Monday.

Many of the complaints name rapper Travis Scott as a defendant, as well as promoters Live Nation and Scoremore. All of the suits allege negligence on the part of the defendants, and are asking for more than $1 million each.

Eight people were killed at the festival after a crowd awaiting the Houston rapper rushed towards the front of the stage when he began his performance. Ages ranged from 14 to 27. More than a dozen people were hospitalized, including a 10-year-old child.

Many of the lawsuits were filed by the same firm, Roberts Markland. Each of those suits contain boilerplate language blaming organizers for inadequate security and a failure to keep people safe during the event. The ensuing chaos left the plaintiffs “seriously and permanently damaged,” according to the complaints.

"As a parent of a teenager, my heart is broken for the families of those who died at the festival," read a statement from attorney Sean Roberts. "We owe it not only to our clients, but everyone else touched by this incident, a meticulous and thorough investigation followed by prompt trial jury trials if the organizers of the event are not serious about voluntarily settling the claims.”

Meanwhile, a lawyer for the family of 21-year-old Axel Acosta, who died at the music festival after thousands of fans rushed the stage at the beginning of Scott’s set, announced a lawsuit early Monday morning. Attorney Tony Buzbee said he would file the suit on the family’s behalf, as well as for other victims. That lawsuit did not yet appear to be filed Monday morning. More details were set to be announced during a press conference for Monday afternoon.

Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump also announced on Twitter Sunday night that his firm was representing victims of the crowd rush, including 21-year-old Noah Gutierrez.

According to the suit, Gutierrez was in a VIP section of the concert when the crowd began to get out of control, and he was “forced to watch in terror as several concertgoers were injured and killed as a result of crowd surge,” leading to “severe and lifelong emotional trauma.”

The suit also criticized the response of the festival’s organizers, who after being alerted of a “mass casualty incident” allegedly continued the show for another 40 minutes.

Attendee Manuel Souza was allegedly being trampled and suffered serious bodily injuries, according to another suit filed in Harris County.

In a statement, Souza's lawyer accused Travis Scott of creating a dangerous environment at his concerts, and said the festival’s organizers should take full responsibility for what happened.

“As proud residents of Houston, we are sickened by the devastating tragedy that took place on Friday night,” said Ryan MacLeod with the law firm Kherkher Garcia. “Travis Scott has a history of inciting violence and creating dangerous conditions for concertgoers.”

Scott could not be reached for comment Monday. In a statement, Live Nation confirmed the lawsuits but declined to comment on them further.

"We continue to support and assist local authorities in their ongoing investigation so that both the fans who attended and their families can get the answers they want and deserve, and we will address all legal matters at the appropriate time," the company wrote.