Drake is being sued alongside Travis Scott after 8 die in crowd rush at Astroworld Festival
Toronto rapper and business mogul Drake is being sued by at least one survivor of a deadly crowd surge that killed eight people and injured hundreds more on Friday during Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas.
Scott, Drake, Live Nation and the event production company ScoreMore are among the parties named in multiple lawsuits alleging such acts as inciting violence, gross negligence and "conscious disregard of the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers."
Drake, in particular, is accused by one injured attendee of inciting the crowd during a surprise performance with his SICKO MODE collaborator and the festival's hometown headliner, Scott.
At least two attendees who've taken legal action against Scott, himself a Grammy-winning recording artist, are seeking $1 million (USD) in damages each after being hurt when chaos broke out among the crowd of roughly 50,000 people shortly after 9 p.m. on Friday.
Travis Scott, Drake, and Live Nation reportedly in first lawsuit for over $1 million: pic.twitter.com/93gk8kPaIn— 𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙚𝙙. (@StrappedHH) November 7, 2021
While the tragic events at Houston's NRG Park on November 5 are still under investigation, local officials say things turned deadly when members of the crowd started pushing toward the stage as Scott and Drake were performing.
At least eight people were killed, all between the ages of 14 and 27, and more than 300 were reportedly treated for injuries at the scene. At least 25 were taken to hospital, where 13 remain, according to CNN. A 10-year-old child is reportedly still hospitalized and in critical condition as a result of their injuries.
Houston Police said initially that some victims had been trampled to death, but a criminal investigation has also been launched following reports that someone in the audience had been injecting crowd members with drugs.
Roughly 100,000 people had purchased tickets to the two-day festival, which sold out in under an hour for 2021 after a two-year COVID-induced hiatus. The festival's second day was cancelled as a result of the deadly crowd rush.
This is you literally encouraging the crowd to disrespect security, while they are trying to make a path for medical to pass through. pic.twitter.com/ZMv6UWSkN1— sí (@sisihunni) November 6, 2021
NBC News is reporting that "more than a dozen" lawsuits had been launched in connection with the incident as of Monday morning, with more expected to come: Personal injury law firm Thomas J. Henry Law is actively seeking attendees who were injured during the concert.
The Texas-based firm is already representing 23-year-old plaintiff Kristian Paredes, who claims to have been seriously injured during the stampede.
Paredes is accusing both Scott and Drake of negligently inciting a riot and violence.
"The crowd became chaotic and a stampede began. Many begged security guards hired by Live Nation Entertainment for help, but were ignored," reads his complaint as filed in Harris County District Court on Saturday.
"As Drake came onstage alongside Travis Scott he helped incite the crowd even though he knew of Travis Scott's prior conduct."
The lawsuit alleges that Drake continued to perform even as the crowd grew out of control and mayhem ensued, noting that he should have been aware of what could happen given that Scott "had incited mayhem and chaos at prior events."
▪️FREE CONSULTATIONS▪️— Thomas J. Henry Law (@thomasjhenrylaw) November 6, 2021
Hundreds injured and at least 8 dead at Travis Scott’s “Astroworld,” music festival. If you were injured at the Astroworld Music Festival, contact us at 866-340-0555https://t.co/a17bgCzMaa
Another lawsuit filed by an attendee named Manuel Souza, claims that Scott, ScoreMore and Live Nation were negligent to the point of enabling a "predictable and preventable tragedy."
Like Paredes, Souza pointed out that this isn't the first time such dangerous behaviour has been observed at a Travis Scott show.
"Scott actively encourages his fans to 'rage' at his concerts. His express encouragement of violence has previously resulted in serious violence at numerous past concerts," reads the suit.
"So many people were hurt, and so few emergency personnel were provided by defendants, that patrons themselves had to conduct CPR on their fellow concertgoers."
Souza, who says he suffered "severe bodily injuries" at the event, says Scott "consciously ignored the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers, and, in some cases actively encouraged and fomented dangerous behaviors."
Scott has been arrested in the past for encouraging fans to illegally bypass security guards and rush his stage. He pled guilty to disorderly conduct in 2017 after several people were indured during a show in Arkansas.
The artist also pled guilty to reckless conduct in connection with a chaotic crowd surge at Chicago's Lollapalooza festival in 2015.
Drake, who spent several of his formative years living in Scott's hometown of Houston, has yet to comment on the tragedy or the lawsuits. Scott, however, took to Twitter on Saturday with a statement addressing what happened.
"I'm absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival," he wrote.
"Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life. I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need."
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