Civil rights attorney Ben Crump held a news conference Friday morning alongside attorney Alex Hilliard, announcing the filing of over 100 lawsuits for Astroworld Festival victims.
The onslaught of lawsuits against Travis Scott and Live Nation came after a “crowd surge” at his Astroworld Festival last Friday that resulted in the deaths of nine victims so far, ranging in age from 14 to 27, Click 2 Houston reports. Crump announced that he would be filing up to 98 civil suits connected to the tragedy, including a 9-year-old boy who was left in critical condition.
“We will make sure that they get justice because this should have never happened,” Crump said.
“It is also about making sure Live Nation and anybody else who had anything to do with the failure here that caused people to lose their children,” he added. “Nobody should ever die from going to a concert. In the future, safety must be paramount.”
Hillard claimed “criminal” activity took place leading up to the concert due to how unorganized the mass event was, ABC 13 reports.
“We are talking about the largest organizer and promoter of festivals and concerts in the world,” Hilliard said. “And when that happens, a failure of epic proportions on this type of scale, it is criminal.”
Uniqua Smith, 32, who attended the concert and represented by Crump, shared her experience during the press conference.
“By the third or fourth song, I tried to make my way out of the crowd,” Smith said. “When I tapped on a woman to ask her to move, I noticed she was also having trouble breathing. The next thing I know, she was having a seizure and hit the ground.”
Smith was thankfully able to escape the concert alive but from 9:45 pm to 2:45 am, she could not get home.
“There was no way to Uber home. I couldn’t call anyone. I couldn’t even get to my car,” she recalled.
As more details continue to surface, Crump believes the tragedy could’ve been avoided had it been adequately planned and monitored.
“This was so very preventable … Had people been focused on crowd control, had people been focused on safety provisions, focused on protocols,” Crump said. “We want the message to be loud and clear to Live Nation and everybody involved. We expect you to do better in the future, and we expect you to do right by everybody who is injured physically or psychologically at the Astroworld Festival.”
As of Monday, Travis Scott and Live Nation had been named in over 14 personal injury lawsuits with each being for over $1 million, USA Today reports.