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The motion was granted last week, meaning that the hundreds of overlapping cases would be combined for efficiency before a single judge for all pretrial hearings.
Travis Scott and Live Nation are now facing one giant lawsuit, comprising nearly 400 individually filed cases.
The sprawling case will represent close to 2,800 victims affected by the events of the Astroworld tragedy that took place on Nov. 5, 2021.
Ten people were killed and hundreds of others injured in a deadly crowd surge during Scott’s headline performance at NRG Park, in the rapper’s hometown of Houston. The annual festival was produced by Scott and is named after his 2018 album.
Since the tragic events, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against Scott and Live Nation, the company responsible for organizing the festival. These suits will now move forward as one case, as formally granted by a Texas court panel last week.
On Jan. 26, Texas’s judicial panel on multidistrict litigation approved the joint motion from both victims and event organizers to formally combine the litigation before a single judge for all pretrial hearings.
According to the legal documents obtained by Billboard, the new case will absorb at least 387 individually filed lawsuits, claiming that Scott and Live Nation were legally negligent in the planning and execution of Astroworld.
The filings state that the motion was granted to ensure efficiency in the pretrial stages, particularly the discovery procedure, which is the process of handing over evidence to be presented in court.
“We conclude that the cases arising out of [Astroworld] are related, and we find that transfer of those cases would result in more efficient pretrial of the related cases,” the documents read.
The filings also state that the new lawsuit will absorb any “tag-along cases” that were filed later. This means that — while also bearing in mind any drop-outs and duplicates — the exact number of cases making up the larger lawsuit may be subject to change.
This kind of multidistrict litigation (MDL) is common in mass injury lawsuits, often to avoid the inefficiency of trying lots of separate cases which share similarities — as is the case with the Astroworld fallout.
With this motion in place, a single judge will be able to oversee the sprawling cases in a more efficient way. The MDL process also means that it will likely be easier to negotiate a single settlement to resolve all of the separate cases.
According to Billboard, the thousands of victims represented in the new case are seeking billions of dollars in total damages.
In the days after Astroworld took place, Scott faced heavy criticism from fans who accused the rapper of “inciting the crowd” and continuing to perform despite calls to stop the show.
Sources close to Scott maintain that he didn’t realize the severity of what was happening in the crowd as he continued to play on for a reported 37 minutes after the show had been declared a mass casualty incident.
In December, speaking in his first sit-down interview since Astroworld, Scott implied that he felt the media were unfairly pinning the blame onto him.
When asked if he thought people were “forcing responsibility” onto him for the tragedy, the rapper agreed and said that being “the face of the festival” had put him in the firing line.
“Well, yeah, you know, I’m the face of the festival, I’m a artist,” he said. “So yeah, the media is… They wanna put it on me.”
After a brief hiatus, Scott returned to social media over the holidays, but has since kept a low profile.