(Houston, TX) Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner Partner Benny Agosto, Jr., Partner Mo Aziz and associate attorneys Ben Agosto, III and David Baluk filed suit against Cactus Jack Records, LLC., Jacques Webster II a/k/a Travis Scott, Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation, NRG Energy, Inc., ASM Global, LLC., Scoremore, LLC, Scoremore Holdings, LLC., Scoremore Mgmt. LLC., Keith Butler, Trey Hicks, Mark Miller Darry Platt, Sascha Stone Guttfreund. The lawsuit comes after Plaintiffs Oscar Villanueva and Joseph Ferguson, as next friend of S.F. and A.F., minors, Zoey Ferguson, and Bruce Ferguson. Mr. Villanueva was trampled as he attempted to perform CPR on an individual who had fallen unconscious.
On or about November 5, 2021, Plaintiffs attended the Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas. The sold-out event was held at NRG Park, and over 50,000 people were in attendance to see rapper Travis Scott’s performance late Friday night. As Travis Scott’s performance began shortly after 9:00 p.m., the sold-out crowd surged toward the stage, and chaos ensued. Members of the densely packed crowd were crushed against each other making it difficult to breathe. As the crowd pushed toward the stage, concertgoers fell to the ground, becoming unconscious and trapped amidst the panicked crowd with no way to escape.
The deadly surge came hours after fans rushed through an entrance earlier Friday afternoon, and it came two years after three people were trampled and hospitalized when thousands rushed into the 2019 Astroworld Festival. On November 9, 2019, a surging crowd charged a permanent fence that surrounded NRG stadium, separating the festival grounds from the outside. While concertgoers waited in line, the anxious crowd became impatient and hostile and subsequently forced the metal barricades to the ground and stormed the entrance to the festival. Patrons were forcefully pushed to the ground by the mob and became trapped under a stampede of people unable to stand back up. As a result, many suffered serious injuries and damages. After the 2019 incident, an investigation quickly revealed that there was little to no security at the barricades before the entrance to prevent the rush into the event.
In a tragic parallel, the early afternoon of November 5, 2021, revealed a similar issue—insufficient security personnel permitted a crowd to surge the perimeter barricade, causing patrons to stampede the downed fence and into the premises all the while trampling over one another. These two near-carbon copy incidents would have and/or should have given any reasonably prudent party who observed even an iota of safety enforcement pause that premises safety was dangerously inept. However, Defendants proceeded blindly onward despite the clear danger lurking on that festival ground. Unfortunately, the conscious disregard of the extreme danger that a crowd may be driven to frenzy, which would undoubtedly cause serious injury or death to those trapped in the crowd’s surge led to the death of 8 loyal fans and left hundreds more injured. Many witnesses reported that, so few emergency personnel were present that patrons themselves had to render emergency aid and CPR to fellow patrons. The extent of the chaos was so immense that emergency vehicles were forced to cut through the amalgam of terrified, frenzied patrons to render aid. One could not imagine a scene starker in contrast to the evening envisioned by those who had traveled so far and waited so long to enjoy.
“This tragic event was totally preventable. The defendants failed to properly staff the event just like in 2019 and an even worse result occurred., “said attorney Benny Agosto, Jr. “The community is saddened, outraged, and, in this lawsuit, we are sending a message that this needs to stop.”
On Monday, November 8, 2021, lawsuits were filed for over $1,000,000.00 on behalf of Mr. Villanueva and Mr. Ferguson.
For questions regarding the lawsuit or interview requests, please contact Geoffrey Adkinson at [email protected] or 713-222-7211, Benny Agosto, Jr. at [email protected] or David Baluk at [email protected]