Lawyers and Lawsuits Line Up Following Astroworld Tragedy

Tony Buzbee with the particulars of one lawsuit with more to come.
Tony Buzbee with the particulars of one lawsuit with more to come. Screenshot
Rapper Travis Scout has offered to pay funeral expenses for the eight young people who died at his  Astroworld Festival on Friday, which didn't stop the parade of lawsuits that began marching their way to Houston's courts on Monday, the first workday after the tragedy.

As was expected, more than one Houston law firm on Monday announced they have already started filing lawsuits against Scott, Cactus Jack Records, Travis Scott, the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation, NRG and a host of other individuals and groups associated with what was to be a two-day festival. The second day was canceled after what occurred Friday night when an overcrowded rush to the stage resulted in death and injury.

The common legal argument: The crowd control problems should have been better anticipated and dealt with based on what happened when security gates were breeched at Astroworld in 2019. Instead, and as a result, on November 5, 2021 eight young people died and countless others were injured because the festival organizers understaffed the event in terms of security and emergency medical care and thereby failed to provide a safe environment. 

Attorney Tony Buzbee, hired to represent 21-year-old Axel Acosta who was among the dead and more than 30 other litigants, called a Monday afternoon press conference and laid a lot of the blame at the feet of Scott who has a history of urging ticketless fans to break through security barriers and who urged fans to come to the stage during his performance.

Buzbee showed several video clips of Scott at various concerts, urging his fans to disregard security measures and in one case, to attack an audience member who'd taken Scott's shoe while the rapper was crowd surfing. On behalf of his clients, Buzbee said he is also suing Live Nation.

Present at the press conference were Acosta's father and brother. The 21-year-old had traveled to Houston from Washington State for the concert. His father described how when he tried to find out what happened to his son, officials said they had no record of his son as being among the dead or injured. But later photos of his son surfaced on the Internet, which is when the family found out he had died.

The firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner also announced Monday they have filed suit  on behalf of two clients. The firm is representing plaintiffs Oscar Villanueva  who was allegedly "trampled as he attempted to perform CPR on an individual who had fallen unconscious." It also represents Joseph Ferguson, as next friend of S.F. and A.F., minors, Zoey Ferguson, and Bruce Ferguson, who according to the lawsuit were trampled and sustained serious bodily injuries when they were knocked to the ground.

Jim Adler & Associates announced Monday night that they were representing more than ten victims who'd been injured at Astroworld and would be filing suit Tuesday morning.

The Houston Press asked for a statement from a Scott representative in response to the lawsuits actions and accusations against the musician and his organization, but we did not receive a reply. We will update this story if we do.I n a tweet sent out by Scot he pronounced himself "absolutely devastated."
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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