The first three of what could be many lawsuits are being filed in the aftermath of the Travis Scott Astroworld concert tragedy that left eight people dead and more than a dozen injured just three days ago.
Famed civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said he has filed on behalf of survivor Noah Gutierrez and expects to file on behalf of others soon. Gutierrez, 21, described a scene of “chaos and desperation,” Crump said.
“We are hearing horrific accounts of the terror and helplessness people experienced,” Crump said in a statement. “The horror of a crushing crowd and the awful trauma of watching people die while trying to save them.”
Scott, an eight-time Grammy-nominated rapper and Houston native, released a statement expressing his sorrow over Friday’s events.
“I am absolutely devastated by what took place last night,” the rapper, a native of Houston, wrote on Twitter. “My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival. Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life.”
Scott, one of music’s biggest young stars, founded the Astroworld Festival in 2018. He has a 3-year-old daughter with Kylie Jenner, who announced in September that she’s pregnant with their second child.
Who is Travis Scott? Everything to know about the Houston-born ‘Astroworld’ rapper
Lawyers for concert attendee Manuel Souza sued Scott, concert promoter Live Nation, organizer ScoreMore and others, saying they were responsible in a petition filed in Harris County District Court on Saturday, calling the festival a “predictable and preventable tragedy,” according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by CNN and The Hill.
“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,” Live Nation said in a statement Monday.
The lawsuit reportedly accuses the defendants of negligence and gross negligence, claiming the incident was a result of “a motivation for profit at the expense of concertgoers’ health and safety.”
“Defendants failed to properly plan and conduct the concert in a safe manner,” alleged Steve Kherkher, Souza’s attorney. “Instead, they consciously ignored the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers, and, in some cases actively encouraged and fomented dangerous behaviors.”
USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for those named in the lawsuits.
Texas attorney Thomas J. Henry also filed a lawsuit Sunday on behalf of Kristian Paredes, a concert-goer who alleges he was severely injured as a result of the crowd rush, according to legal documents obtained by USA TODAY. He is suing Scott, Live Nation, NRG Stadium and rapper Drake, who appeared during Scott’s set.
“There is no excuse for the events that unfolded at NRG stadium on Friday night,” Henry said in a news release. “There is every indication that the performers, organizers, and venue were not only aware of the hectic crowd but also that injuries and potential deaths may have occurred. Still, they decided to put profits over their attendees and allowed the deadly show to go on.”
Man allegedly paralyzed at 2017 Travis Scott concert says rapper has a ‘desire for chaos’
The lawyer for a man who previously alleged he was partially paralyzed at a 2017 Travis Scott concert is now blaming the Astroworld tragedy on the rapper’s “desire for chaos.”
Kyle Green alleged in a 2017 lawsuit that he suffered “severe personal injuries” after he was “caused to fall from a balcony” at a show in New York and was “improperly removed from the subject premises without a cervical collar, backboard, and other safety precautions,” per legal documents obtained by USA TODAY.
“It’s no surprise at all that a massive tragedy like this took place,” Green’s attorney, Howard Hershenhorn, wrote in an email to USA TODAY. “He’s now attempting to bolster his image by being remorseful on Twitter but he should have thought about and learned a lesson from the consequences of his past misdeeds and Friday night never should have happened.”
‘They were not breathing’: Astroworld survivors recount bodies trampled, overwhelmed security
Scott, his manager and several associated production companies all previously denied any wrongdoing in Green’s case.
“Make no mistake about it, his desire for chaos caused this horrific tragedy,” Hershenhorn said of Friday’s Astroworld deaths. “On top of that, just like in our case, security and medical staff were incompetent.”
Often times, the rapper encourages his concert-goers to get rowdy. Scott has been arrested at least two times for inciting riots and disorderly conduct at his shows.
In 2015, the rapper was arrested after encouraging fans to jump security barricades during his Lollapalooza set, which was promptly shut down. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year of probation, according to Billboard.
A few weeks after the 2017 New York concert, Scott was charged with inciting a riot, disorderly conduct and endangering the welfare of a minor after he encouraged concertgoers at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion to rush the stage, injuring a security guard, a police officer and several others. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and the other charges were dropped, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette and The Springfield News-Ledger, part of the USA TODAY Network. He was ordered to pay court fees and restitution to two injured people.
Contributing: Elise Brisco
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Astroworld updates: Victims sue Travis Scott, Drake after crowd surge