AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas attorney Thomas J. Henry has filed a $1 million lawsuit on behalf of an Austin victim against Travis Scott, Drake, Live Nation and NRG Stadium in connection to the deadly Astroworld music festival on Nov. 5.
“The planning and response to what occurred at this event was all dismal and resulted people dying and being severely injured,” Henry told KXAN. “That’s why they’re being sued.”
Fans attending the Houston event surged toward the stage during a performance by rapper Travis Scott. Eight people were killed and several were hurt, authorities said.
The two-day event was underway at NRG Park Stadium and an estimated 50,000 people were in attendance at the time of the show.
Henry filed the lawsuit on behalf of an Austin-based victim, Kristian Paredes, who reached out to the firm following the event.
According to the lawsuit, Scott — legally Jacques Berman Webster III — has “incited mayhem and chaos” at prior events. The lawsuit said Drake — legally Aubrey Graham — “helped incite the crowd.” The pair continued to perform even as the crowd “became out of control” and first responders were working to rescue those in distress, the lawsuit alleged.
Henry’s office said Paredes attended the event and was “severely injured” after a stampede began, the lawsuit said.
“Live musical performances are meant to inspire catharsis, not tragedy,” said Henry. “Many of these concert-goers were looking forward to this event for months, and they deserved a safe environment in which to have fun and enjoy the evening. Instead, their night was one of fear, injury, and death.”
Henry said he is currently representing an additional 60 people who attended the concert.
“Many of these people have crushed injuries. Those injuries can be anything from broken bones, spinal injuries, you can imagine being trampled on with your feet. And if you fall being stepped on, stepped over, along with all the psychological problems associated with that entire environment,” he said.
While the criminal investigation is still ongoing, Henry said he feels confident already naming Travis Scott in the lawsuit.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said 25 people were transported to the hospital and roughly 300 people were treated by a third-party medical vendor on-site throughout the day.
All eight victims who died were identified by Harris County on Monday:
- Mirza Baig, 27, from Houston
- Rodolfo Peña, 23, from Laredo
- Madison Dubiski, 23, from Cypress
- Franco Patiño, 21, from Illinois
- Jacob Jurinke, 20, from Illinois
- John Hilgert, 14, from Houston
- Axel Acosta Avila, 21, from Washington
- Brianna Rodriguez, 16, from Houston
“There is no excuse for the events that unfolded at NRG Stadium on Friday night,” said Thomas J. Henry. “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.”
During a press conference Saturday, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner called for calm and urged people not to jump to conclusions about what caused the surge. Authorities said the investigation into why the surge happened will take weeks, possibly even months.
Scott released a statement about the incident Saturday morning, stating that he was “devastated by what took place.”
“I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night. 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 said.
Scott founded the Astroworld Festival in 2018, and it has taken place at the former site of Six Flags AstroWorld each year except for 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
For transparency, Thomas J. Henry is a KXAN advertiser. The decision was made to publish this story based on the broad public interest in this investigation and responses to the Astroworld incident.