Judge Declines to Dismiss Lawsuits Filed Against Rapper Travis Scott Over Deadly Astroworld Concert

Judge Declines to Dismiss Lawsuits Filed Against Rapper Travis Scott Over Deadly Astroworld Concert
Travis Scott performs at the Astroworld Music Festival in Houston on Nov. 5, 2021. (Amy Harris/Invision/AP Photo)

HOUSTON—A judge has declined to dismiss hundreds of lawsuits filed against rap star Travis Scott over his role in the deadly 2021 Astroworld festival in which 10 people were killed in a crowd surge.

State District Judge Kristen Hawkins issued a one-page order denying Mr. Scott’s request that he and his touring and production company, XX Global, should be dropped from the case. The order was signed on Tuesday but made public on Wednesday.

Mr. Scott’s attorneys had argued during an April 15 hearing that he was not responsible for safety planning and watching for possible dangers at the concert on Nov. 5, 2021.

They argued Mr. Scott’s duties and responsibilities related to the festival only dealt with creative aspects, including performing and marketing.

However, Noah Wexler, an attorney for the family of Madison Dubiski, 23, one of the 10 people killed, said Mr. Scott, whose real name is Jacques Bermon Webster II, had a “conscious disregard for safety” at the sold-out festival. Mr. Wexler argued Mr. Scott encouraged people who didn’t have tickets to break in and ignored orders from festival organizers to stop the concert when told to do so as people in the crowd were hurt or dying.

Earlier this month, Judge Hawkins dismissed lawsuits against Drake and several other individuals and companies involved in the show.

The lawsuit filed by Dubiski’s family is set to be the first one to go to trial on May 6.

The families of the 10 people who died, plus hundreds who were injured, sued Mr. Scott and Live Nation—the festival’s promoter—as well as dozens of other individuals and entities.

After an investigation by Houston police, no charges were filed against Mr. Scott, and a grand jury declined to indict him and five other people on any criminal counts related to the deadly concert.

Those killed, who ranged in age from 9–27, died from compression asphyxia, which an expert likened to being crushed by a car.

Some of the lawsuits filed by the families of the dead and the hundreds who were injured have been settled, including those filed by the families of four of the dead.

By Juan A. Lozano

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