Apparently, we spoke too soon when we reported Wednesday that a $750 million lawsuit brought by 125 Astroworld attendees was the largest resulting from the tragedy that claimed 10 lives on November 5. On Thursday, a $2 billion lawsuit was filed on behalf of 282 plaintiffs, naming as its defendants Travis Scott, Drake, Live Nation and Apple, among others. Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation and NRG Stadium, which hosted the Houston festival, have also been named.
Per Rolling Stone:
The new complaint from lawyer Thomas J. Henry is the latest iteration of a fast-evolving case that has been growing exponentially since it was first filed on behalf of a single concertgoer, Kristian Paredes, on Nov. 8.
“The defendants stood to make an exorbitant amount of money off of this event, and they still chose to cut corners, cut costs, and put attendees at risk,” Henry said in a statement Thursday. “My clients want to ensure the defendants are held responsible for their actions, and they want to send the message to all performers, event organizers, and promoters that what happened at Astroworld cannot happen again.”
The lawsuit also clarifies Apple’s potential liability in the tragedy, as it “alleges Apple’s multimillion dollar purchase, promotion and implementation of its exclusive online streaming rights played a critical role in the crowd-control disaster,” reports Rolling Stone, which procured a copy of the paperwork.
“Early reports from the investigation of the Astroworld catastrophe indicate that the premises were arranged in a fashion that best served Apple’s online streaming of the concert at the detriment to concertgoer safety,” it stated, adding: “Apple Music had cameras, camera stands, cameramen, and metal barriers surrounding each; these cameras effectively split the premises both horizontally and vertically by the metal barricades..The placement of cameras streaming for Apple Music’s broadcast effectively limited many concertgoers’ means of exit; this dangerous condition would inevitably prevent individuals from dispersing.”
“They were promoting this, encouraging this and profiting from this,” Tony Buzbee, the attorney behind the $750 million lawsuit also naming Apple as a co-defendant, told Rolling Stone. “It’s profits over people. And if the show doesn’t go on, people don’t get paid.”
“I guarantee you, had the crowd attacked the stage or interfered with the performers themselves, oh my goodness, they would have called in every police officer within a hundred miles. But as long as the performers weren’t in any kind of jeopardy, who gives a shit about the people in the crowd, I guess, was the attitude. And it can’t be like that,” Buzbee added.
For those doing the math, the lawsuits against Scott and related parties are now closing in on $3 billion—and in case you’re wondering, Scott is reportedly worth about $60 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Should settlements be reached—which they likely will—experts note they would likely be covered by insurers of the festival. Further, Buzbee told Rolling Stone “he expects the various suits will be consolidated in a single courtroom in Houston under a judge appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas, likely in the next 60 days.”