Travis Scott has been named in a $750 million lawsuit filed on Tuesday on behalf of 125 Astroworld victims, including the family of one man who died at the festival.
Ten people were killed and hundreds of others injured during a deadly crowd surge that took place during Scott’s performance on Nov. 5 at NRG Park, in the rapper’s hometown of Houston.
The annual festival was headlined and produced by Scott, and is named after his 2018 album.
Sources close to the rapper maintain that he didn’t realize the severity of what was happening in the crowd as he continued to play on for a reported 37 minutes after the show had been declared a mass casualty incident at 9:38 p.m.
The new legal complaint was filed in Houston by attorney Tony Buzbee, and follows hundreds of other lawsuits filed by the families of victims and concertgoers alleging "negligence" in the wake of the disaster.
Among the plaintiffs in Tuesday’s suit is the family of 21-year-old Axel Acosta, who was one of ten attendees who died from injuries sustained during Scott’s headlining performance, when concertgoers were seemingly crushed, suffocated, and trampled by one another as they surged toward the stage.
In the complaint, Buzbee alleges that Acosta went into cardiac arrest from being crushed in the crowd “with such force that he could no longer breathe.”
An additional member of Buzbee’s legal team also said that Acosta’s death “was needless, and was the result of gross negligence.”
The lawsuit states: “When Axel collapsed, he was trampled by those fighting to prevent themselves from being crushed. As he lay there under a mass of humanity, dying, the music played and streamed on — for almost forty minutes.”
“Axel Acosta loved and adored Travis Scott and the other performers at Astroworld — the feeling was not mutual,” the legal complaint says.
“Certainly, neither Travis Scott nor his exclusive partners, streaming service, record labels, handlers, entourage, managers, agents, hangers on, promoters, organizers, or sponsors cared enough about Axel Acosta and the other concertgoers to make an even minimal effort to keep them safe,” the suit continues.
And like many other lawsuits filed against the rapper in the aftermath of the concert, the complaint details alleged past behavior by Scott which they claimed “glorifies violence and other dangerous behaviors,” including his social media activity.
The legal suit also states that the $750 million sum is to cover the cost of both physical and mental damage sustained by the victims and families — however, Buzbee emphasized that “no amount of money” will compensate for what they have experienced.
“No amount of money will ever make these Plaintiffs whole; no amount of money can restore human life,” the attorney said. “But, the damages sought in this case attempts to fix, help, or make up for the harms and losses suffered by these Plaintiffs — nothing more and nothing less.”
Other defendants named in the suit include Apple Music, Epic Records, Scott's Cactus Jack Records, Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, and Live Nation — the company responsible for organizing the event.
In a statement provided to BuzzFeed News, Buzbee's team explained that his firm “believes, based on its ongoing investigation, that Apple Music, Epic Records and many other corporations that stood to profit from Astroworld will share legal blame in a court of law, in front of a Texas jury.”
Also named in the lawsuit is the artist Drake, who joined Scott onstage as a surprise guest. Fan footage from the music festival shows the rapper performing with Scott after an emergency vehicle had already entered the crowd to aid concertgoers who were suffering from injuries.
The complaint claims that while Drake does not have such a prolific history of inciting chaos as Scott, he has still “greatly benefitted from [Scott's] ‘sicko’ legacy” and is therefore partly to blame for the disaster.
“When [Drake] accepted [Scott's] invitation to perform at Astroworld 2021, [Drake] was well aware of the damage [Scott] had caused at his shows in the past,” Buzbee writes in the suit. “[Drake] was also well aware of the anticipated size and volatility of the crowd, and the likelihood of incitement.”
In a statement issued on Nov. 6, Scott said he was “absolutely devastated” by the events that took place at Astroworld and pledged his commitment to “heal and support the families in need.”
A spokesperson for Scott also said on Friday that while the rapper felt “he was not responsible” for the tragedy, “he wants to be responsible for the solution.”
Scott has since announced that he intends to cover the costs of both the funerals for those who died at the concert, as well as therapy treatment for survivors.
On Monday, it was announced by Nike that they have postponed the release of their latest sneaker collaboration with Scott, “out of respect for everyone impacted by the tragic events at the Astroworld Festival.”
And now, following suit, W Magazine has decided against digitally promoting an upcoming edition that features Scott, and his partner, Kylie Jenner, on the cover.
In a statement provided to BuzzFeed News, a representative for W Magazine confirmed that the Scott–Jenner cover — which also included a new interview with the pair — was shot and printed before the Astroworld incident and would no longer be posted online by the outlet.
"The issue was photographed and printed prior to the tragic events in Houston," the spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. "W will not be posting the cover."
Like Scott, Jenner also found herself at the center of criticism in the wake of the tragedy.
Jenner — who is currently expecting her second child with Scott — was in attendance at the fatal concert, and, according to fan footage, was safely situated at the rear of the audience in a VIP section with her sister, Kendall Jenner, as well as her and Scott’s 3-year-old daughter, Stormi.
Both Jenner sisters were met with backlash in the days after the festival for sharing Instagram stories of Scott's performance that were then left on their accounts even after news of the mass casualties emerged.
One video, which was shared by Kylie, showed an ambulance in the crowd. The video remained live on her account for several hours after the news broke of the fatalities before it was finally deleted.
On Nov. 7, Jenner issued a statement on Instagram, emphasizing that she and Scott had not been aware of the fatalities until the news surfaced after the show.
“Travis and I are broken and devastated. My thoughts and prayers are with all who lost their lives, were injured or affected in anyway by yesterday's events. And also for Travis who I know cares deeply for his fans and the Houston community,” the billionaire wrote.
“I want to make it clear we weren't aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show and in no world would have continued filming or performing,” she continued.
“I am sending my deepest condolences to all the families during this difficult time and will be praying for the healing of everyone who has been impacted,” her statement concluded.
According to reports, Scott and Jenner have been staying put at the rapper’s home in Houston since the incident occurred nearly two weeks ago.