astroworld tragedy

Travis Scott and Drake Named in $750 Million Lawsuit on Behalf of 125 Astroworld Victims

Photo: Thomas Shea/AFP via Getty Images

On Friday, November 5, around 9:30 p.m., eight people were killed and hundreds were hurt after crowds rushed toward the stage during Travis Scott’s concert at his Astroworld music festival in Houston at NRG Park. The deceased ranged in age from 14 to 27 years old. Twenty-five people were hospitalized after suffering serious injuries amid the chaos. The youngest victim, a 9-year-old boy, died from his injuries. Approximately 50,000 people were at the show.

As Houston officials continue to search for answers surrounding the “mass casualty” incident — with police chief Troy Finner revealing Saturday, November 6, that “it’s now a criminal investigation that’s going to involve our homicide division, as well as narcotics” — attendees and their loved ones are seeking the truth on their own. In the days following the tragedy, some have filed lawsuits alleging that the deadly pandemonium could have been prevented. They have said that safety issues at Scott’s previous shows should have prompted better safeguards. In a statement on “legal matters,” Live Nation said, “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.” More lawsuits are expected in the coming days. Here are just some of major lawsuits coming out of the tragedy.

Axel Acosta

Travis Scott and Drake have been named in a $750 million lawsuit in connection to the Astroworld tragedy. Attorney Tony Buzbee filed the complaint in Houston Civil Court on behalf of 125 Astroworld Festival victims, including the family of Axel Acosta, a 21-year-old who was killed at the concert. In the lawsuit, Buzbee alleges that Acosta died from cardiac arrest, the result of being stomped on by the crowd. “When Axel collapsed, he was trampled by those fighting to prevent themselves from being crushed,” it reads. “As he lay there under a mass of humanity, dying, the music played and streamed on — for almost forty minutes.”

“Axel Acosta loved and adored Travis Scott and the other performers at Astroworld — the feeling was not mutual,” the lawsuit continues. “Certainly, neither Travis Scott nor his exclusive partners, streaming service, record labels, handlers, entourage, managers, agents, hangers on, promoters, organizers, or sponsors cared enough about Axel Acosta and the other concertgoers to make an even minimal effort to keep them safe.”

Drake, who was a surprise guest performer appearing alongside Scott, has been named in the lawsuit. He allegedly “greatly benefitted from [Scott’s] ‘sicko’ legacy.” “When [Drake] accepted [Scott’s] invitation to perform at Astroworld 2021, [Drake] was well aware of the damage [Scott] had caused at his shows in the past,” Buzbee writes in the lawsuit. “[Drake] was also well aware of the anticipated size and volatility of the crowd, and the likelihood of incitement.” Live Nation, Apple Music, Epic Records, Scott’s Cactus Jack Records, and Tristar Sports & Entertainment Group, have all been identified as defendants in the lawsuit.

Buzbee’s team made a statement to People, claiming his firm “believes, based on its ongoing investigation, that Apple Music, Epic Records and many other corporations that stood to profit from Astroworld will share legal blame in a court of law, in front of a Texas jury.” Buzbee’s firm also plans to file another lawsuit “with another 100 named plaintiffs.”

Manuel Souza
Souza, who’s repped by the firm Kherkher Garcia, LLP, is filing a claim alleging that the events were “predictable and preventable.”
“Tragically, due to Defendants’ motivation for profit at the expense of concertgoers’ health and safety, and due to their encouragement of violence, at least 8 people lost their lives and scores of others were injured at what was supposed to be a night of fun,” Souza’s petition alleges. Souza says that he endured “serious bodily injuries when the uncontrolled crowd at the concert knocked him to the ground and trampled him.”

Ryan S. MacLeod, partner at Kherkher Garcia, LLP, stated in an email to Vulture, “As proud residents of Houston, we are sickened by the devastating tragedy that took place on Friday night. Travis Scott has a history of inciting violence and creating dangerous conditions for concertgoers. In fact, he tweeted that he would let the wild ones in after the show sold out. He and those who promoted and supported this concert must take responsibility for their heinous actions. We intend to hold them fully accountable by showing that this behavior will not be tolerated in our great city.”

Kristian Paredes
The concertgoer is filing a suit against Scott, Drake (who took the stage during Scott’s performance), and Live Nation. When Scott’s performance started a little after 9 p.m., Paredes “felt an immediate push.” Paredes, who is repped by the law offices of Thomas J. Henry, says in the suit, “The crowd became chaotic and a stampede began leaving eight dead and dozens including Kristian Paredes severely injured. Many begged security guards hired by LIVE NATION ENTERTAINMENT for help, but were ignored.”

“Defendants were negligent for inciting a riot and violence,” Paredes’s petition claims. “The occurrence here in was due to the negligence, carelessness and recklessness of the defendants, their agents, servants and employees, in the ownership, management, maintenance, operation, supervision, and the control of the subject premises … as a direct and proximate result of the incident and the negligent conduct of the Defendants, Plaintiff suffered severe bodily injuries. The injuries have had a serious effect on the Plaintiff’s health and well-being. Some of the effects are permanent and will abide with the Plaintiff for a long time into the future, if not for his entire life.”

Noah Gutierrez
Twenty-one-year-old attendee Noah Gutierrez is filing suit over the incident. His counsel, civil-rights attorney Ben Crump, says that Gutierrez encountered “chaos and desperation” while Gutierrez and other concertgoers struggled to get people off of the ground.

Gutierrez, an El Paso resident, says in his suit that he was in the VIP section “when he was suddenly forced to watch in terror as several concertgoers were injured and killed as a result of a crowd surge.” As the crowd surge neared the stage, several attendees were “kicked, stepped on, trampled, and tragically crushed to death as a result of compressive asphyxia, which is caused when people are pushed against one another so tightly that their airways become constricted.” The suit contends that several people were “shouting for help with CPR and pleading with Defendants to stop the concert,” but that “despite the chaos which Defendants were aware of or should have been aware of,” they failed to stop the show until more than 40 minutes after a “mass casualty” incident was declared.

Tobenna Okezie
In a lawsuit filed Monday, Okezie alleges that “as a result of inadequate security and a security plan to protect attendees at the festival, conditions were created and consented to by the festival organizers that caused several stampedes and a crowd compression that resulted in the tragic deaths of eight individuals and the serious injuries of hundreds more.” Okezie claims to have been “seriously and permanently injured by the recklessness and conscious indifference of the Defendants.”

Coritius Broussard
The Houston resident’s allegations echo those of Okezie. Broussard claims that concert promoters and Scott “failed to provide the proper safety planning, security, and medical personnel, proximately causing Plaintiff’s injuries.” Broussard says that the promoters and Scott’s actions “constitute negligence” and that they “failed to exercise reasonable care” in terms of warning attendees about safety hazards, providing “competent personnel,” designing an “adequate safety plan,” and having enough security personnel.

Briannae Garcia
Like most other attendees who have filed suit, Garcia is seeking at least $1 million in damages. Garcia says that “the acts and omission of the Defendants as described above constitute negligence,” referring to the conditions that led to the crowd compression. Scott and organizers’ “breaches of duty proximately caused injury and damages” to Garcia, court papers filed Monday state. Garcia expects to show that Scott and promoters’ conduct “involved an extreme degree of risk considering the probability and magnitude of the potential harm to others.”

Natasha Celedon
The Houston resident, who like several others suing over the Astroworld tragedy is repped by Sean A. Roberts, has made similar claims as other plaintiffs. Celedon’s suit maintains that “defendants had actual subjective awareness of the risks involved, but nevertheless [proceeded] with conscious indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of others, including the Plaintiff.”

Marielena Chavez
Chavez, who’s also represented by Roberts, has claimed that because of Scott and promoters’ “negligence, Plaintiff has suffered physical injuries and economic damages, both in the past and, in probability, in the future for which he/she seeks financial remuneration.”

Wasem Abulawi
Abulawi, like others, claims to be “seriously and permanently injured by the recklessness and indifference” of Scott and promoters. Since Scott and promoters were responsible for the festival, Abulawi’s suit maintains, they were responsible for providing adequate security, planning, and medical resources.

Patrick Polier
The concertgoer maintains that “as a result of inadequate security and a security plan to protect attendees at the festival, conditions were created and consented to by the festival that caused several stampedes and a crowd compression that resulted in the tragic deaths of eight individuals and the serious injuries of hundreds more.” Polier claims to have been “seriously and permanently injured” during the chaos.

Dante Deberardino
The suit by Deberardino says he will show that Scott and promoters’ behavior, “when viewed objectively from the standpoint of Defendants at the time of its occurrence, involved an extreme degree of risk considering the probability and magnitude of the potential harm to others.” Deberardino’s suit also claims that Scott and promoters “had actually subjective awareness of the risks involved, but nevertheless [proceeded] with conscious indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of others,” including him.

Ilhan Mohamud
When Scott’s set started, Mohamud was in the middle of the crowd and “without warning, she became trapped in the middle of a crowd surge.” Mohamud, who’s represented by Hilliard Martinez Gonzales, LLP, as well as by Crump’s firm, alleges that “as the crowd continued to surge forward towards the stage … [she] and thousands of other concertgoers were pushed, shoved, elbowed, kicked along with being suffocated.” As Mohamud “attempted to stay conscious and escape the crowd,” she “was forced to witness several concertgoers who [were] being crushed, trampled, and killed within very close proximity to where [she] was trapped within the crowd.” Mohamud says that she “experienced severe physical pain and unimaginable terror and emotional trauma.”

Cristian Guzman
During the concert, Guzman states in his lawsuit, “there was a surge of uncontrolled people pushing through the crowd. The pushing soon became chaos as people were stampeded and trampled on.” Guzman says he was “pushed to the ground and trampled which has resulted in a significant back injury.” The suit alleges security did not maintain order: “There are numerous videos showing people dancing on top of [vehicles] … videos of unconscious bodies being crowd surfed to medical attention, and numerous comments about the medical staff being under trained and not provided with sufficient equipment,” the suit states. “All the while, the show went on with Travis Scott continuing to perform—even after stopping the show because he saw people that needed help.”

Brandon Kemp, Reilly Corcoran, and Alex Sander
In their suit, Kemp, Corcoran, and Sander say that “for an extended period of time prior to the [incident], attendees became increasingly compressed towards the stage as other attendees began pushing towards the front of the stage.”

While this surge was happening, they say, promoters and security “failed to take appropriate action to secure the area and restrain the crowd.” They were aware of the risky circumstances, but “nevertheless proceeded in conscious indifference to the rights, safety, and welfare of the Plaintiffs and other members of the public,” the suit alleges.

Patrick Stennis
In his lawsuit, Stennis alleges that he endured “severe injuries” at the concert. The deaths and injuries at Astroworld “has already been classified as one of the deadliest crowd-control disasters at a concert in the United States in decades.” Stennis alleges that he was “trampled, crushed, and lost consciousness during the incident.”

“He sustained injuries to his shoulder, head, and other parts of his body,” the suit states. “Defendants’ failures to properly plan, design, manage, operate, staff, and supervise the event was a direct and proximate cause of Plaintiff’s and others injuries and deaths.”

Tiffany Delgado
Delgado’s lawsuit charges that “as a result of inadequate security and a security plan to protect attendees at the festival, conditions were created and consented to by the festival organizers that caused several stampedes and a crowd compression that resulted in the tragic deaths of eight individuals and the serious injuries of hundreds more.”

Her suit maintains that she was “seriously and permanently injured by the recklessness and conscious indifference of the Defendants.”

Maria D. Peña (mother of victim Rudy Peña)   
Rudy Peña, 23, was killed at Astroworld Friday; his mother has filed a lawsuit against several promoters and Scott for his death. “The Defendants are liable for the injuries and death of Rudy Peña,” her suit alleges. “They knew or should have known that the [conditions] were unsafe and presented an unreasonable risk of harm to the concertgoers. Despite the hazards, they let the show go on.”

“They had a duty to exercise reasonable care to ensure the safety of those attending the concert,” the suit, filed by attorney Steve T. Hastings, states. “They breached their duties which resulted in the ultimately death of Rudy Peña.”

Oscar Villanueva 
An entry with the Harris County Clerk’s office indicates that Villanueva has taken legal action, but a copy of his petition was not immediately available.

Joseph Ferguson
Court filings show that Ferguson has filed suit, but not available to view yet.

John Hilgert
The family of 14-year-old John Hilgert, one of the youngest deaths in the Astroworld, has filed a lawsuit against Travis Scott, Live Nation Worldwide, and other entities involved in the concert, according to People. Attorney Richard Mithoff filed the lawsuit on behalf of Hilgert’s parents Chris and Nichole Hilgert. “Defendants egregiously failed in their duty to protect the health, safety, and lives of those in attendance at the concert, including but not limited to the failure to provide adequate security personnel to implement crowd control measures, proper barricades, and the failure to provide a sufficient amount of emergency medical support,” the lawsuit claims.

This is a developing story and is being updated with additional reporting.

Travis Scott and Drake Sued by 125 Astroworld Fest Victims