Tony Buzbee Files Suit For More Than 120 Clients in Astroworld Case

More than 120 plaintiffs in lawsuit filed Tuesday.
More than 120 plaintiffs in lawsuit filed Tuesday. Photo by Violeta Alvarez
Representing more than 120 clients, Houston attorney Tony Buzbee filed suit Tuesday as expected in the Astroworld tragedy that left (now) ten dead and hundreds injured after people were crushed or had heart attacks amid a push toward the stage.

What was less expected was that in addition to suing Astroworld Festival founder and organizer Travis Scott and the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation, was that Buzbee also named Apple Music, Epic Records and other corporations that according to a statement from Buzbee's office "stood to make millions from Astroworld and will share legal blame in a court of law."

According to the lawsuit, these groups were well aware of Scott's "violent lyrics" as well as his habit of encouraging fans without tickets to attend his concerts anyway and that he had previously been arrested for inciting crowds to disregard security. As a result, Buzbee is suing

The Buzbee announcement also included the news that the firm plans to file on behalf of another 100 plaintiffs in the next few days. Among the plaintiff's already named is 21-year-old Axel Acosta who was killed during the concert. Apple Music live streamed what was to have been a two-day event, but was shut down on the night of Friday, November 5, 2021.  Eight people died that day and two — including a 9-year-old boy — within days of the festival.

Citing "negligence/gross negligence" Buzbee's initial lawsuit seeks more than $750 million for his clients. Other defendants named in the civil suit include Drake who was performing with Scott while members of the audience were being crushed, trampled or suffered heart attacks as a result of the pressure and global entertainment company and ticket seller Live Nation.

According to the lawsuit, both Scott and Drak refused to end the concert as ambulances and medical personnel made their way among the crowd trying to help the injured and despite direct pleas made to them that they do so. "Indeed, rather than end the concert [Drake] continued, and then after went for a party at Dave & Buster's, and then to a strip club where he spent more than $1 million," the suit alleges.

Live Nation, the suit says, contracted for medical care and security at the concert but did not ensure that there was enough staff on hand or that the staff had adequate training to handle a general admission crowd of more than 50,000 people. And according to the lawsuit, this was not unusual for Live Nation and its events.

In naming Harris County as a defendant, the lawsuit says it should have known about Scott's "repeated violent rhetoric, both at concerts and on social media." On Tuesday, despite calls from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo for an independent investigation, county commissioners voted to conduct an internal review of what went wrong at Astroworld.

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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing