A new $2 billion dollar class-action lawsuit has been filed against hip-hop artists Travis Scott and Drake as well as Apple Music, Live Nation and others on behalf of victims of the Nov. 5 tragedy at the Astroworld concert in Houston, where 10 people were crushed to death and hundreds of others were injured.
The lawsuit was filed by attorney Thomas J. Henry on behalf of 282 plaintiffs, making it the largest lawsuit yet related to the disaster, according to Rolling Stone.
“The defendants stood to make an exorbitant amount of money off of this event, and they still chose to cut corners, cut costs, and put attendees at risk,” Henry said in a statement. “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.
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The devastating fatalities happened on Nov. 5 when an estimated 50,000 concertgoers converged on NRG Park park to see Scott and others perform. During the show, the crowd began surging towards the stage and people were crushed and trampled.
Pushing and shoving are normal at Scott’s shows and he has often encouraged fans to bypass security and rush the stage, but it never resulted in a fatality before, Associated Press reported.
“Travis Scott’s whole aesthetic is about rebellion,” said HipHopDX editor-in-chief Trent Clark who has attended Scott concerts. “The shows have a lot of raging.”
Video footage circulated on social media shows there were calls for help and to stop the show – and while one attendee told the New York Times that Scott did pause a few times to point to people in the crowd and ask for them to be helped, the show was not fully stopped, even after an ambulance was spotted in the crowd.
Scott said he did not realize the severity of the situation and released a statement on Nov. 6 once reports of the deaths and injuries began circulating. “I’m honestly just devastated. I could never imagine anything like this just happening,” Scott said in a video on Instagram.
“I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night,” he reiterated in an official statement posted to Twitter. “My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted b what happened at Astroworld Festival. Houston OD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life.”
Drake, who made a surprise appearance at the festival, also released a statement of condolences.
“I’ve spent the past few days trying to wrap my mind around this devastating tragedy,” Drake said in a post on Instagram Monday. “I hate resorting to this platform to express an emotion as delicate as grief but this is where I find myself. My 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, May God be with you all.”
Named in the lawsuit was Apple Music, an official partner of the event, which was live-streaming the show. Live Nation, which promotes, operates, and manages ticket sales, and others were named because the victims believe they played a role in making the concert an unsafe environment.
“Apple Music had cameras, camera stands, cameramen, and metal barriers surrounding each; these cameras effectively split the premises both horizontally and vertically by the metal barricades,” the lawsuit claims. “The placement of cameras streaming for Apple Music’s broadcast effectively limited many concertgoers’ means of exit; this dangerous condition would inevitably prevent individuals from dispersing.”
The lawsuit was first filed by Astroworld attendee Kristian Paredes, 23, from Austin, Texas, who said he was seriously injured in the chaos. The lawsuits have been growing ever since. This is one of many, including one by the family of 9-year-old Ezra Blount, who reportedly fell off his father’s shoulders when he passed out in the crowd. Blount died in the hospital after spending several days in an induced coma.
Attorney Henry said his clients range in age from teenagers to people in their 40s. “They have injuries ranging from heart attacks, to heart issues, to brain injuries, to spinal injuries, to broken bones, broken legs, eye injuries, internal organ injuries, bruising and bleeding,” Henry said.
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