A ‘stretch’ to hang Astroworld liability on Travis Scott as $3B in lawsuits pile in

More than 300 lawsuits were filed totaling a staggering $3 billion over the November 5 Astroworld disaster that ultimately claimed ten lives.

Recently, Live Nation (LYV) and Apple (AAPL), along with rapper and lead Travis Scott, were sued for $2 billion by hundreds of concertgoers who claimed they were injured in the deadly event at NRG Stadium, as they rushed Concert goers toward the stage during Scott’s performance, creating a deadly mess.

“The catastrophic incident and the resulting carnage would have been easily foreseen, and could have been avoided had the defendants acted reasonably wisely in planning a large-scale festival like Astroworld,” the lawsuit reads. Legal experts remain skeptical about whether the artist himself will be held financially responsible for the deaths.

“I think it would be overkill to wear this [Travis Scott]Nick Rozansky, attorney at Brutzkus Gubner Rozansky Seror Weber, told Yahoo Finance.

Meanwhile, a separate lawsuit (filed by Houston attorney Tony Busby on Tuesday) is seeking more than $750 million in damages on behalf of 125 victims. Scott was named again in the complaint, along with rapper Drake, who was a surprise guest.

According to the complaint, Scott’s previous actions and his social media posts “[glorify] Violence and Other Dangerous Behaviors While Drake Was Aware of the Damage [Scott] He has been a cause of his shows in the past. For context, Scott was arrested in 2015 after encouraging fans to storm the stage in Lollapalooza. He was sentenced to one year in court under supervision before being arrested again in 2017 on suspicion of starting a riot while performing in Arkansas.

Additionally, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said Scott should have stopped the show “completely” as soon as he saw the crowd, saying during an interview on NBC’s “Today” that “Everyone at this event has a responsibility, starting with From the artist down.”

Travis Scott, Live Nation, Apple and Epic Records did not immediately respond to Yahoo Finance’s request for comment.

Not enough to stand in court

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 9: A woman walks past a memorial to those who died at the Astroworld Festival outside NRG Park on November 09, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

HOUSTON, TX – NOVEMBER 9: A woman walks past a memorial to those who died at the Astroworld Festival outside NRG Park on November 09, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

According to Sullivan’s early Brian Sullivan, Wright Geezer and McCrae, although “in theory the artist could be held responsible,” this does not appear to be the case with Scott.

The lawyer further explained that the rapper would have had to incite violence through some kind of direct action. Given these standards, Sullivan said, Scott’s reputation, his words, past actions and legal problems are “not enough” to establish him in court.

“You can be a very violent person in an area where a fight was going on, but you didn’t throw a punch,” he told Yahoo Finance.

He continued, “The law requires him to engage in specific behavior that led to the accidents.. What did he do in Astroworld that night? That is the question the courts will be asking,” imagining that Scott “is likely to be removed from the case.” No irrefutable allegations.

Rozansky said the financial burden will likely fall on the security company and event promoters like Live Nation and ScoreMore, but he expected more “finger-pointing” in the future.

The lawyer noted that “it is not uncommon for all defendants to start suing each other because of identity and contribution if they are proven responsible.”

More repercussions for Scott

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 5: Travis Scott performs during the 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 5, 2021 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Erica Goldring/WireImage)

HOUSTON, TX – NOVEMBER 5: Travis Scott performs during the 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 5, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Erica Goldring/WireImage)

While Scott likely won’t be in charge of Astroworld’s finances, there could be more repercussions ahead for the 30-year-old – especially when it comes to future shows and brand deals.

Sullivan explained that if he was advising a client on risk management, he would be reluctant to recommend Scott as an actor or lead “just because of who he is.”

Instead, if Scott is going to work, the attorney said there will likely be a “redistribution of risk” – adding that any additional security details or private insurance should come out of the rapper’s pocket.

“All of these costs will be reallocated to Travis in contract negotiations,” Sullivan said.

Already, major brands associated with Scott have begun to distance themselves from the controversy, suggesting that Scott may already be paying a fine of some sort over the tragedy.

Nike (NKE), which is acting “respectfully” for those affected by Astroworld, has postponed the launch of its collaboration with Travis Scott’s shoe.

Separately, luxury goods company Dior, which was about to launch Spring/Summer 2022 Travis Scott menswear collection Early next year, he is now said to be assessing the situation, while Epic Games has quietly removed Travis Scott’s expression, which was available for purchase on the Fortnite gaming app.

“Reasonable” as a keyword

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 9: A general view of the atmosphere during the second annual Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 9, 2019 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TX – NOVEMBER 9: A general view of the atmosphere during the second annual Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 9, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)

Deaths at concerts and festivals, while tragic, are not entirely a new phenomenon. During 2017, two deadly events rocked the music industry: the Las Vegas shooting at Route 91 Harvest Festival in which more than 55 people were shot dead, and the Ariana Grande bombing at the Manchester Arena terrorist which killed 22 people.

However, Sullivan explained that these deadly acts are “completely different” from Astroworld.

“The question in this case is more, ‘Did the venue and the lawns take all feasible precautions to prevent people from getting infected?'” “The keyword is reasonable… Did they have enough security details to handle the situation? Did they have enough medical personnel? Did they respond quickly enough? Did they allocate sufficient funding?”

“It all depends on the facts,” he concluded.

Alexandra is a producer and entertainment reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter aliecanal8193

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