Nov 12 (Reuters) – Attorneys representing more than 200 people claiming they were injured in last week’s Astroworld Festival stampede in Houston said on Friday that they are filing another 90 lawsuits against the promoters of the event in which at least nine people died.
The announcement marked the latest legal action to follow last Friday’s concert by Grammy Award-nominated rapper Travis Scott before a crowd of 50,000 at NRG Stadium that got out of control when fans surged toward the stage.
“We represent more than 200 victims who were injured mentally, physically and psychologically at the Astroworld Festival,” civil rights Attorney Ben Crump announced at a news conference in Houston.
At least 50 other suits have been brought against producer Live Nation Entertainment Inc and Scott over the deaths and injuries related to the Astroworld Festival that was intended to signal the resurgence of Scott’s hometown.
Live Nation and Scott did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Crump, who was joined by about a half-dozen other attorneys, said any one of several concert officials could have prevented deaths and injuries by stopping the show and turning on the house lights when the chaos in the crowd became apparent.
“Nobody should ever die from going to a concert,” he said. “So this lawsuit is not just about getting justice for them, but it’s about making sure that the promoters and the organizers know that you cannot allow this to ever happen in the future.”
The nine people who were killed ranged in age from 14 to 27. A 9-year-old boy remains hospitalized in critical condition, police have said.
The latest victim of the stampede to succumb was 22-year-old Bharti Shahani, a Texas A&M University computer science student who died late on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Scott asked victims to reach out to him, saying he “desperately wishes to share his condolences and provide aid,” according to a statement. The rapper earlier offered to pay for funeral costs and mental health counseling.
Attorney Alex Hilliard said the concert never should have been approved. He accused Live Nation of being criminally negligent by not having an emergency plan, adequate medical staff or equipment
“We are talking about the largest organizer and promoter of festivals and concerts in the world,” Hilliard said at the briefing. “And when that happens, a failure of epic proportions on this type of scale, it is criminal.”
The attorneys did not attach a dollar figure to their lawsuits during their announcement.
Police are continuing to interview witnesses and are building a timeline of events leading to the deaths, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said on Wednesday. (Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; Additional reporting by Barbara Goldberg in Maplewood, New Jersey; Editing by David Gregorio)