By Victor Omondi
Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney, and attorney Alex Hilliard held a press conference on Friday morning to announce the filing of over 100 lawsuits on behalf of Astroworld Festival victims.
According to Click 2 Houston, the onslaught of lawsuits against Travis Scott and Live Nation followed a “crowd surge” at his Astroworld Festival last Friday, which led in the deaths of nine people ranging in age from 14 to 27. Crump indicated that he’d file up to 98 civil lawsuits related to the disaster, including one on behalf of a 9-year-old boy who was critically injured.
“We will make sure that they get justice because this should have never happened,” Crump stated.
“It is also about making sure Live Nation and anybody else who had anything to do with the failure here that caused people to lose their children,” he continued. “Nobody should ever die from going to a concert. In the future, safety must be paramount.”
ABC 13 reported that Hillard said “criminal” activities occurred in the days preceding the concert because the event was so disorganized.
“We are talking about the largest organizer and promoter of festivals and concerts in the world,” Hilliard explained. “And when that happens, a failure of epic proportions on this type of scale, it is criminal.”
Uniqua Smith, 32, who attended the event and was represented by Crump, spoke at the press conference about her experience.
“By the third or fourth song, I tried to make my way out of the crowd,” Smith remarked. “When I tapped on a woman to ask her to move, I noticed she was also having trouble breathing. The next thing I know, she was having a seizure and hit the ground.”
Smith escaped the performance safely, but she was unable to return home from 9:45 p.m. to 2:45 a.m.
As more information becomes available, Crump believes the tragedy could’ve been avoided if it’d been properly planned and supervised.
“This was so very preventable … Had people been focused on crowd control, had people been focused on safety provisions, focused on protocols,” Crump added. “We want the message to be loud and clear to Live Nation and everybody involved. We expect you to do better in the future, and we expect you to do right by everybody who is injured physically or psychologically at the Astroworld Festival.”