Travis Scott sued after crowd surge tragedy – 35 plaintiffs ‘and number growing’ says lawyer who called concert ‘utter chaos’

More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed over the fatal crowd surge at a concert by rapper Travis Scott.

Manuel Souza, one of the people who filed a petition seen by Reuters and Associated Press news agencies, suffered “serious bodily injuries” in the tragedy at the Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas.

Eight people aged between 14 and 27 were killed in the crush and hundreds more from a crowd of about 50,000 were injured.

Scott has said he has been left “absolutely devastated” by the incident.

The scene of the concert. Pic: Twitter @ONACASELLA /via REUTERS
Image:Around 50,000 people were at the festival. Pic: Twitter @ONACASELLA /via REUTERS

Investigators are expected to examine the design of safety barriers and the use of crowd control in determining what led to the surge at the sold-out festival, which was founded by Scott.

Mr Souza is seeking at least $1m (about £741,000) in damages from defendants including Scott and show organisers Live Nation, according to a lawsuit filed in Harris County District Court.

Another man named Kristian Paredes has also filed a lawsuit against Scott, Live Nation and Canadian rapper Drake, who made a guest appearance at the concert, according to US media.

More on Texas

  • Emergency personnel respond to the Astroworld music festival in Houston on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. Several people died and numerous others were injured in what officials described as a surge of the crowd at the music festival while Travis Scott was performing. Officials declared a “mass casualty incident” just after 9 p.m. Friday during the festival where an estimated 50,000 people were in attendance, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña told reporters at a news conference. (KTRK via AP)

    Travis Scott concert deaths: How do crowd surges happen and why are they deadly?

  • L/R: Franco Patino, Brianna Rodriguez, and Jacob Jurinek

    Travis Scott concert deaths: Two best friends and ‘beautiful’ student named among victims of crowd surge at Astroworld Festival

  • Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner. Pics: Instagram and AP

    Travis Scott releases video saying he is ‘devastated, as Kylie Jenner posts statement on Instagram

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Some 13 lawsuits have been filed against Scott and Live Nation Entertainment Inc in Harris County.

Many of the claimants are suing for negligence, gross negligence and damages for injuries they sustained at the concert.

Several of the lawsuits state that the defendant was “seriously and permanently injured by the recklessness and conscious indifference of” Scott and Live Nation.

They say the defendants “failed to provide the proper safety planning, security, and medical personnel, proximately causing Plaintiff’s injuries”.

The tragedy unfolded after some of the crowd at the show are said to have pushed toward the stage at NRG Park, as a timer clicked down to the start of Grammy-nominated Scott’s show.

Among the victims were high school pupil Brianna Rodriguez, 16; medical assistant Rudy Pena, 23; student Franco Patino and his friend Jacob Jurinek, both 21; and Danish Baig, 27, who was reportedly injured as he tried to help his fiancée.

Brianna was described as “beautiful” and “vibrant” by her family on a crowdfunding page to raise money for her funeral, while Rudy was the “calmest, most playful and most sweetest with everyone”, his brother-in-law, Sergio Gonzales, told People.com.

Brianna Rodriguez, 16, was passionate about dancing.
Image:Brianna Rodriguez, 16, was among the victims
Rudy Pena, 23, the youngest of five siblings, attended the show with his friends.
Image:Rudy Pena, 23, the youngest of five siblings, attended the show with his friends

Both Jacob and Franco were described in tributes on social media as two of the “nicest” and “kindest” people.

In a post written by Danish’s brother Basil on Facebook, he was described as “a beautiful soul whose smile would light up the room and put everyone before himself”.

Axel Acosta, 21, was also among the victims killed in the tragedy, his father, Edgar Acosta, told US media.

He was a computer science major at Western Washington University, which released a statement paying tribute: “By all accounts, Axel was a young man with a vibrant future. We are sending our condolences to his family on this very sad day.”

Franco Patino, 21, a student at the University of Dayton in Ohio, was described as an 'amazing person'
Image:Franco Patino, 21, a student at the University of Dayton in Ohio, was described as an ‘amazing person’
Jacob Jurinek (pictured) and friend Franco Patino, both 21, had saved up to attend the festival.
Image:Jacob Jurinek had saved up to attend the festival

Families of the victims have demanded justice as a criminal investigation is now under way, with Houston mayor Sylvester Turner calling the disaster a “tragedy on many different levels”.

Thirteen people remained in hospital on Sunday. Details of their conditions have not been released.

A security officer was also left unconscious after apparently being injected in the neck by a concert-goer. Houston city police chief Troy Finner said his department had opened a criminal investigation by homicide and narcotics detectives, following reports that somebody in the audience had been injecting people with drugs.

Houston police and fire department officials have said their investigation will include reviewing video taken by concert promoter Live Nation, as well as dozens of clips from people at the show.

Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner. Pic: ESBP/STAR MAX/IPx
Image:Scott is expecting his second child with partner Kylie Jenner. Pic: ESBP/STAR MAX/IPx

Officials also looked to review the event’s security plan and various permits issued to organisers to see whether they were properly followed. In addition, investigators planned to speak with Live Nation representatives, Scott and concert-goers.

Scott, who founded the festival, said he was “devastated” following the deaths, and was working to help the families of “the ones that was lost” as well as giving his “total support” to police.

He announced he will cover all funeral costs and “provide further aid” for those affected.

The 29-year-old star is known for his high-energy performances in which music fans are encouraged to stage dive and crowd-surf.

He stopped multiple times during his set after spotting fans in distress near the front of the stage, and asked security to help people out of the crowd.

His partner Kylie Jenner, with whom he is expecting his second child, said after the tragedy that they had been left “broken and devastated”, and offered her “deepest condolences” to the families of those affected.

Sky News has contacted representatives for Scott and Live Nation for comment. A spokesperson for Drake declined to comment on the lawsuit reports.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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