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Astroworld injury claims exceed 4,900

Almost 5,000 people have claimed they were injured in last November’s Astroworld tragedy, according to a new court filing.

Ten concertgoers, aged between nine and 27, were killed after a crowd surge during co-founder Travis Scott’s headline set at the 50,000-cap festival in Houston, Texas, promoted by Live Nation and its Scoremore subsidiary. All of those who died suffered from compression asphyxia.

Now, Rolling Stone reports that attorneys Jason Itkin, Richard Mithoff and Sean Roberts, who are acting as “plaintiffs’ liaison counsel”, have tied 732 claims to injuries that required extensive medical treatment, 1,649 to less extensive treatment, and 2,540 for injuries where the severity is still under review.

Earlier this year, the go-ahead was given for hundreds of Astroworld lawsuits to be formally consolidated into a single case . Lawsuits were filed against Scott and promoters Live Nation and Scoremore, along with other parties, in each of the 24 district courts in Harris County. Nearly every claim alleges negligence such as “failures of safety and security rules, crowd control and emergency response measures, and failures to provide adequate security, supervision, training and care”.

Scott performed for the first time in public since Astroworld at the weekend

The Texas Judicial Panel On Multidistrict Litigation ruled that 387 suits, representing almost 2,800 alleged victims, could move forward as one case.

The accused parties have denied all allegations against them relating to the 5 November 2021 disaster.

Last month, the Texas Task Force on Concert Safety (TFCS) made a series of recommendations on how to improve concert safety and help avoid a repeat of the tragedy, including the creation of a centralised Event Production Guide – outlining and encouraging best-practice for event design and crowd control.

“While some level of risk is inherent in any mass gathering, it is the opinion of the TFCS that proper planning will allow Texans to enjoy safe performances, concerts, and other culturally significant events,” it said.

Scott took to the stage at a Miami nightclub at the weekend to give his first public live performance since Astroworld.

 


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Hundreds of Astroworld lawsuits to be consolidated

Hundreds of Astroworld lawsuits are being formally consolidated into a single case following a court ruling.

Ten people, aged between nine and 27, died and hundreds of others were injured following the crowd crush during Travis Scott’s headline set at the festival at Houston’s NRG Park on 5 November 2021.

Lawsuits were filed against Scott and promoters Live Nation and Scoremore, along with other parties, in each of the 24 district courts in Harris County. Nearly every claim alleges negligence such as “failures of safety and security rules, crowd control and emergency response measures, and failures to provide adequate security, supervision, training and care”.

The Texas Judicial Panel On Multidistrict Litigation has now ruled that 387 suits, representing almost 2,800 alleged victims, can move forward as one case.

“The agreed motion alleges the lawsuits arise out of incidents leading up to, during and following a live performance by Travis Scott during the Astroworld Festival outside NRG Park on November 5, 2021,” states the court papers. “We conclude that the cases arising out of the incident are related, and we find that transfer of those case would result in more efficient pre-trial of the related cases.”

“Houston Police Department continues to lead the investigation”

Billboard reports the move towards a single case was agreed upon by both sides. Scott previously requested to be dismissed from multiple lawsuits relating to the disaster, with a representative saying the rapper “is not legally liable” for the tragedy.

Live Nation, Scoremore and NRG Park owner Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation also deny all allegations against them, but have not asked for their dismissal.

Criminal investigations are still ongoing. Last month, Houston police appealed for Astroworld attendees to submit any photos or videos taken at the event.

“Houston Police Department have already viewed countless hours of video evidence as part of our ongoing investigation into the Astroworld event,” it tweeted. “To ensure that we have captured all possible evidence for a complete investigation, we have partnered with the Federal Bureau Of Investigation for additional technical assistance. The FBI has created a website where the public can upload any photos or video taken at the concert venue. Specifically, we are seeking any photos or videos of the main venue area from 8pm to 11pm. The website to upload your photos or video is fbi.gov/astroworld.

“HPD continues to lead the investigation and we appreciate the assistance from our federal partners at the FBI.”

 


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Travis Scott, Live Nation deny Astroworld claims

Travis Scott has requested to be dismissed from multiple lawsuits he is named in relating to the Astroworld disaster.

Ten people, aged between nine and 27, died following a crowd crush during Scott’s headline set at the 50,000-cap. NRG Park in Houston, Texas on 5 November.

However, a representative said the rapper “is not legally liable” for the tragedy, according to Rolling Stone. Scott, who is accused of negligence, among other claims, is named in most of the 300 suits filed in Harris County. He denies all allegations against him in 11 lawsuits and is likely to file many more requests for dismissal going forward, the report adds.

Promoter Live Nation, its Scoremore subsidiary and NRG Park owner Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation have also denied all allegations against them, but have not asked for their dismissal.

Nearly every petition alleges the same or similar common fact questions related to the alleged negligence

The news comes after it was revealed that 275 Astroworld lawsuits representing more than 1,250 people could be consolidated into a single case, according to a filing with the Texas Supreme Court.

“Transfer of all of these lawsuits to a single pretrial judge for consolidated and coordinated pretrial proceedings will eliminate duplicative discovery, conserve resources of the judiciary, avoid conflicting legal rulings and scheduling, and otherwise promote the just and efficient conduct of all actions,” it reads.

“Nearly every petition alleges the same or similar common fact questions related to the alleged negligence – such as failures of safety and security rules, crowd control and emergency response measures, and failures to provide adequate security, supervision, training and care.”

 


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Live Nation initiates Astroworld health fund

Live Nation and subsidiary Scoremore have announced they are setting up a health fund to cover the medical expenses of Astroworld Festival attendees.

In a social media post, the companies provided an update on the steps taken since the 5 November tragedy at NRG Park in Houston, Texas, in which eight people died and hundreds were injured. Multiple lawsuits have already been filed by Astroworld attendees in relation to the Travis Scott-headlined event.

“Throughout the weekend, we have been working to provide local authorities with everything they need from us in order to complete their investigation and get everyone the answers they are looking for,” says the statement.

“Our staff has met with local authorities to provide information, and we have also provided them with all the footage from our CCTV cameras. Load out of the site and equipment is currently paused to give investigators the time they requested to walk and document the grounds. Full refunds are being offered for all those who purchased tickets.

“And most importantly we are working on ways to support attendees, the families of victims and staff, from providing mental health counselling to setting up a health fund to help with costs for medical expenses. Our entire team is mourning alongside the community.”

Many families are dealing with the unimaginable right now and my heart goes out to them

Live Nation chairman and CEO Michael Rapino has also paid tribute to the victims on Twitter.

“Many families are dealing with the unimaginable right now and my heart goes out to them and the entire Astroworld community,” he wrote. “We are dedicated to doing everything we can to get the families and fans the answers and support they deserve.”

Live Nation acquired a majority stake in Austin-based Scoremore Shows, the largest promoter in Texas, in 2018. Scoremore was co-founded in 2010 by Sascha Stone Guttfreund and Claire Bogle.

Meanwhile, Houston police chief Troy Finner has issued an update regarding the ongoing crinimal investigation.

“I met with Travis Scott and his head of security for a few moments last Friday prior to the main event,” says Fenner in the statement, published on Twitter. “I expressed my concerns regarding public safety and that in my 31 years of law enforcement experience I have never seen a time with more challenges facing citizens of all ages, to include a global pandemic and social tension throughout the nation.

“I asked Travis Scott and his team to work with HPD (Houston police department) for all events over the weekend and to be mindful of the team’s social media messaging on any unscheduled events. The meeting was brief and respectful, and a chance for me to share my public safety concerns as chief of police.

“As I have previously stated, our criminal investigation continues. We are asking everyone to be considerate of the grieving families during this incredibly difficult time.”

 


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