Manuel Souza: Concert attendee sues Travis Scott and Astroworld organizers for $1M
A fan who attended the Astroworld Festival on Friday, November 5, when Travis Scott was performing, has sued the rapper as well as the organizer ScoreMore and concert giant Live Nation for the stampede that killed eight and injured several others. The concert attendee, identified as Manuel Souza, filed the petition on Saturday, November 6, in Harris County District Court and claimed that “a motivation for profit at the expense of concertgoers’ health and safety” led to the tragedy.
Souza also said that the disaster was the result of “encouragement of violence”. Souza’s attorney, Steve Kherkher of the firm Kherkher Garcia LLP, wrote: “Defendants failed to properly plan and conduct the concert in a safe manner. Instead, they consciously ignored the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers, and, in some cases actively encouraged and fomented dangerous behaviors.”
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According to reports, the Friday night stampede was one of the deadliest incident at a music event in years that claimed the lives of people as young as 14. It happened on the first day of the two-day festival attended by over 50,000 people. The fest was held at the NRG Park stadium complex in Houston, Texas.
After the tragedy, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena confirmed, “At least 8 confirmed fatalities and many injuries. Around 50,000 people attended the Astroworld Festival. At around 9 or 9:15, the crowd began to compress toward the front of the stage and that caused panic and people were getting injured. HFD transported 17 people to hospitals. 11 of those transported were in cardiac arrest.”
In his suit, Souza alleged that the organizers ignored the early warning signs, for instance “concertgoers breached a security gate around the park, stampeded into the premises, and trampled over one another.” He added that even after ambulances reached the scene to treat fans who had “suffered serious obvious injury,” organizers “made the conscious decision to let the show go on, despite the extreme risk of harm to concertgoers that was escalating by the moment.”
Souza’s lawyer noted, “Eventually, due to defendants’ active decision to let the show go on, the scene devolved into a complete melee, resulting in the needless, untimely death of at least 8 people and injuries to scores of others.” Besides this, the plaintiff has also blamed Scott and said that the 30-year-old has a history of hosting fiery shows and motivating his fans to “rage.” Souza stated, “This kind of behavior has long been encouraged by the festival’s founder and main performer. His express encouragement of violence has previously resulted in serious violence at numerous past concerts.” By accusing the organizers of negligence and gross negligence, Souza is reportedly seeking at least $1 million. His lawyers are demanding a temporary restraining order preventing any destruction of evidence. Along with Scott, Scoremore, and Live Nation, the suit has pinned blame on Scott’s Cactus Jack Records, LLC and a number of other people and companies involved in the event.
Another attorney, Kevin C Haynes, a trial lawyer with the personal injury law firm of Kherkher Garcia, said about the fest’s disaster: “This was unnecessary. This kind of thing is not supposed to happen. There were things that were supposed to be done that were not done.”