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(Lead Pic: By USDA – USDA NAIP ortho imagery, Public Domain)
With criminal charges unlikely to be laid against Travis Scott due to Texas civil law, those affected by the crowd stampede and deaths of eight concertgoers at the Astroworld Festival on Nov 5 in Houston, Texas, are suing producers Live Nation, headliner Travis Scott and guest performer Drake.
At the time of press, at least four suits have been filed or announced, with damages sought totalling millions. The multiple litigants include 35 concert goers represented by Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee. His suit alleges that Live Nation “failed to implement proper security and emergency response measures.”
Other suits filed allege Travis Scott incited the crowd to “riot and violence”, and that the venue, NRG Park, “failed to provide adequate security and medical services.” Many more litigants are likely to join multiple legal actions in the coming days, seeking millions more in compensation.
While NRG Park has public liability insurance covering $26m USD, it is likely that damages sought and awarded may dwarf that figure, leaving Live Nation and Travis Scott liable for the rest.
The Houston City Police department has opened a criminal investigation led by both by homicide and narcotics detectives. Narcotics are involved because of a most likely spurious claim that unknown assailants had been injecting people with drugs in the crowd. No evidence has yet to be produced that this was the case.
According to the ABC, Texas County judge Lina Hidalgo is leading the civil investigation into security and crowd control at the event. Judge Hidalgo called the disaster “a tragedy on many different levels” and said it was too early to draw conclusions about what went wrong. “It may well be that this tragedy is the result of unpredictable events, of circumstances coming together that couldn’t possibly have been avoided,” she said.
Live Nation shares fell 8% in early trading on Monday in the US.
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