Judge Dismisses Drake From Astroworld Concert Lawsuit

Judge Dismisses Drake From Astroworld Concert Lawsuit
Drake attends Drake's Till Death Do Us Part rap battle in Long Beach, Calif., on Oct. 30, 2021. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

A Houston judge dismissed Drake from a lawsuit surrounding the death of concertgoers at Travis Scott’s Astroworld  Festival.

Drake, appearing as a special guest alongside headliner Travis Scott, took to the festival stage on Nov. 5, 2021. The crowd surged, leading to tight packing that left many unable to move or breathe freely. Authorities and festival organizers worked to regain control of the situation.

Lawsuits were directed at not only Drake, Mr. Scott, and Live Nation—the festival’s organizers—but also at numerous other parties involved. Subsequently, many defendants, including Drake and Mr. Scott, petitioned State District Judge Kristen Hawkins for the dismissal of these lawsuits. Judge Hawkins granted Drake’s dismissal from the case in a succinct ruling issued on Wednesday.

During a court hearing in Houston on April 1, Drake’s legal representatives argued that his lack of involvement in concert organization absolved him of liability for the unfortunate outcomes. Drake, born Aubrey Drake Graham, emphasized this detachment during a deposition given in Toronto in November, asserting that he had received no indication of the crowd’s distress before taking the stage.

Despite Judge Hawkins dismissing seven companies and individuals from the lawsuits, motions to dismiss filed by ten other entities, including Apple Inc. and companies linked to Mr. Scott, were denied. The legal proceedings continued, with the first trial scheduled for May 6, 2024.

Following an investigation by Houston Police, no charges were brought against Mr. Scott. A grand jury declined to indict him or five others on any criminal counts related to the concert. However, the Houston Police Department’s extensive investigative report, spanning nearly 1,300 pages, underscored operational issues and warned of potentially deadly consequences.  The accompanying post on social media stated:  “Following the conclusion of the grand jury proceedings regarding the Travis Scott Astroworld concert, the Houston Police Department pledged to publicly release the investigative report detailing HPD’s investigation in to the incident. HPD’s investigation is complete. Items in the report have been redacted in accordance with applicable law and privacy concerns including, but not limited to, dates of birth, social security numbers and addresses. We continue to pray for the victims and families affected by the Astroworld tragedy.”

The victims, aged 9 to 27, succumbed to compression asphyxia, likened to being crushed by a car. While some lawsuits have been settled, including those involving four deceased individuals, legal actions persist, with the most recent settlement disclosed in court filings on Feb. 5, pertaining to 23-year-old Rodolfo “Rudy” Peña.

Drake could not be reached for comment.

NTD Photo
An ambulance in the crowd during the Astroworld music festival in Houston, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2021 in this still image obtained from a social media video on Nov. 6, 2021. (Courtesy of Twitter @onacasella/via Reuters)

Astroworld Tragedy

Over 300 people were treated on the scene for minor wounds. Eleven individuals were rushed to hospitals in cardiac arrest, with 10  succumbing to their injuries.

Astroworld, in a statement, extended condolences to those affected, acknowledging the profound loss and expressing gratitude to local emergency services for their swift response.

“Our hearts are with the Astroworld family tonight—especially those we lost and their loved ones,” read the post on Instagram.

The ordeal unfolded on Nov. 5, 2021, as the crowd rushed toward the stage, triggering panic and subsequent injuries. Eyewitnesses described scenes of chaos as fans hyperventilated and struggled amidst the crush, prompting Travis Scott, the festival’s founder, to pause his performance multiple times to assist distressed fans and direct security interventions.

As the severity of the situation became apparent, organizers halted the event, but the overwhelming scale of casualties quickly overwhelmed medical resources on-site, according to fire officials.

Eyewitnesses recounted harrowing experiences near the stage, with concert-goers pressed tightly together, struggling to breathe or escape the throng. Amidst the distress, a reunification center was established for families seeking information on missing loved ones.

Live Nation, the event organizer, remained silent in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, while Astroworld, an annual event since 2018, had been on hiatus due to the pandemic the previous year.

Among the scheduled acts were rappers Chief Keef and 21 Savage, along with Australian rock outfit Tame Impala.

In a united effort, lawyers representing both the victims and the festival organizers requested that the court combine the cases into a single multi-district litigation overseen by one judge. This consolidation allows a single judge to coordinate pre-trial proceedings, streamlining complex tasks like evidence discovery. It also facilitates the possibility of negotiating a single settlement to resolve all the cases. There are currently at least 275 cases.

From The Epoch Times

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