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According to ABC News, Travis Scott, concert promoters, and Live Nation will be in court for some time to come. Brent Coon, an attorney representing about 1,500 concertgoers, is asking for $10 billion in damages and said it could be years before any trials or settlements in the case take place.
The court hearing comes after lawyers filed nearly 500 lawsuits following the deaths of 10 people with hundreds injured during a massive crowd surge at Scott’s Nov. 5 headlining concert.
In a December interview with Charlamagne Tha God, Travis Scott repeatedly claimed he was unaware of the many concertgoers who were injured, trampled and killed. He reignited even more criticism from members of the public who dispute his version of events. Families of those injured and killed remain unified in their beliefs that Scott could’ve controlled the situation better. Many refused his offer to pay for their loved one’s funeral costs.
After being appointed last month by a judicial panel overseen by the Texas Supreme Court to handle all pretrial matters in the lawsuits, state District Judge Kristen Hawkins issued a gag order.
Per ABC News, during Tuesday’s hearing, Hawkins clarified that lawyers could tell the media about factual issues that occur in court, but discouraged attorneys from making their cases in the court of public opinion and potentially influence the jury pool.
Though the lawsuits blame many for the night’s occurrences, Travis Scott is the most visible target of his former fans’ vitriol. It’s because of intense social media pressure and potential media backlash that Judge Hawkins wants this case handled in court, not via PR stunts.
“This case should be tried in the courtroom and not on social media or with press releases or other statements to the media,” Hawkins said. By the next hearing, the many lawsuits will be broken down into four categories: deaths, bodily injuries, brain injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family of the youngest person to die from injuries during the festival, said that most of the victims killed or injured were Black but the majority of attorneys representing them are White. During the hearing, most of the 50 to 60 attorneys in the courtroom were White, according to ABC News.
Houston PD is currently conducting a criminal investigation of the Travis Scott Astroworld concert, which claimed the lives of fans from nine to 27 years old. Roughly 300 people were injured and treated at the scene, and 25 were taken to hospitals. Those killed died from compression asphyxia.