Artist News Business News Legal Live Business

Motion filed to consolidate pre-trial proceedings in the 275+ Astroworld lawsuits

By | Published on Monday 6 December 2021

Travis Scott

With the number of lawsuits filed in relation to last month’s Astroworld tragedy now topping 275 – involving more than 1250 plaintiffs and with filings in district courts across the Houston area – a motion was filed last week to consolidate and coordinate the pre-trial proceedings in all of the many cases.

Ten people died and hundreds more were injured when a crowd surge occurred during Travis Scott’s headline set at the Houston festival he founded. A criminal investigation is underway to identify what led to the tragedy, being led by the Houston Police Department, while the civil litigation began mounting up within days of the event, with a stack of lawsuits being filed in courts around Harris County, the county in which Houston is situated.

The lawsuits generally target Scott himself and the festival’s promoters, Live Nation and its Scoremore subsidiary. A number of other defendants are also listed on many of the cases, including NRG Park and ASM, the event’s venue and its operator respectively; Apple Music, which was livestreaming the festival; and Drake, who joined Scott on stage while the crowd surge was unfolding.

With so many cases targeting the same defendants – and making very similar allegations about the alleged failings around Astroworld 2021 – it was inevitable that there would be efforts to formally connect the cases, so to reduce the administration associated with them. The motion requesting that that happens was supported by all the key defendants and lawyers representing more than 2500 plaintiffs and potential plaintiffs.

Last week’s legal filing noted that: “Movants are aware of 275 lawsuits with more than 1250 plaintiffs that have been filed in each of the 24 different district courts in Harris County. Nearly all of the petitions allege injuries and/or deaths as a result of an incident during a live performance by musician Travis Scott at the Astroworld festival. The lawsuits involve common procedural questions and legal issues. Upon information and belief, including conversations with plaintiffs’ counsel, movants expect that the filing of new lawsuits will continue”.

It added that: “Transfer of all of these lawsuits to a single pretrial judge for consolidated and coordinated pretrial proceedings will eliminate duplicative discovery, conserve resources of the judiciary, avoid conflicting legal rulings and scheduling, and otherwise promote the just and efficient conduct of all actions”.

The motion also proposed which judge should be appointed to oversee all these cases, stating: “There is agreement as to this motion to transfer and stay from both plaintiffs and defendants, and on consolidating the cases before judge Lauren Reeder in the 234th district court of Harris County”.

Formally connecting the many Astroworld lawsuits will make it easier for out of court settlement talks to take place. If no such settlement can be reached, it’s likely that a small number of the lawsuits would then proceed to court, the outcome of which would likely prompt settlements in all the other cases.