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National Media Speak with Trial Lawyer Frank Branson About Astroworld Concert Tragedy

As the first of what is expected to be many injury and wrongful death lawsuits are filed on behalf of those injured and killed during the Astroworld Music Festival in Houston, Dallas trial lawyer Frank Branson spoke with the Associated Press about the legal liabilities facing organizers of the event.

Red Flags Ignored at Astroworld Music Festival

In “Rapper’s Rowdy Past Raises Red Flags in Astroworld Lawsuits,” Associated Press reporter Bernard Condon spoke with Mr. Branson about a series of security failings and red flags that went unheeded before a massive concert audience surged toward the stage at the encouragement of hip hop artist Travis Scott. Fans caught in the surging crowd lost consciousness and many were trampled. Eight people – ranging from 14 to 27 – were killed and many more suffered serious injuries.

Travis Scott 2014 Feb

Mr. Branson, a veteran trial lawyer, noted that concert organizers and Mr. Scott himself could be found liable for the tragedy. Among other things, Mr. Scott continued performing for more than 30 minutes after authorities declared a mass casualty event. During that time, injuries mounted as fans kept pushing toward the stage.

“The band kept going on and on long after the problem existed,” Mr. Branson told the Associated Press. “It’s hard to believe that wasn’t a conscious disregard to the audience, to safety and welfare.”

Writes the Associated Press:

More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed so far against Scott and several companies, including entertainment giant Live Nation, concert promoter ScoreMore, a nonprofit managing the Houston-owned venue. The complaints allege that organizers failed to take simple crowd-control steps, to staff properly and to act on early signs of trouble at the sold-out concert at NRG Park that attracted 50,000 fans.

Scott is famous for encouraging fans to ignore security and crowd surf and stage dive in the mosh pit below him. A commercial for this year’s Astroworld event, since removed from YouTube, shows fans breaking through barricades and storming the concert grounds at the 2019 event.

In 2015, Chicago officials said Scott encouraged fans at the Lollapalooza music festival to vault security barricades. The rapper was sentenced to one year of court supervision after pleading guilty to reckless conduct charges.

In 2017, Scott was arrested after he encouraged fans to bypass security and rush the stage during a concert in Arkansas, leaving a security guard, a police officer and several others injured. Scott faced several misdemeanor charges, including inciting a riot. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and paid a fine.

Scott is also being sued by a concertgoer who says he was partially paralyzed when he was pushed from a third-floor balcony at a New York City concert in 2017, an incident the man says happened after Scott encouraged people to jump.