Personal injury attorney Ben Crump has announced a lawsuit on behalf of more than 100 Astroworld concertgoers victimized at Travis Scott’s fatal festival in Houston, Texas.
He described the victims as being injured “mentally, physically and psychologically” following the festival.
The lawsuit was announced on Friday morning where the outdoor musical festival was described as “a failure of epic proportions.”
“This should have never, ever happened,” Crump said. “People were literally fighting for their lives just to get out of there… This is a horrific story… We have to get the answers. Nobody should ever die from going to a concert.”
“This is a distaster that changed their lives forever,” he shared. “One thing is for certain. We will not let them get away with this… We are going to make them have changes in the industry.”
As some of Crump’s clients tearfully spoke of the horrors they witnessed, the renowned attorney said his team will hold “each and every” person responsible accountable. One concertgoer described seeing “bodies everywhere” as well as a girl who “was for sure dead.”
“I’ll never forget the look of terror on people’s faces,” one shared.
Bharti Shahani, who was set to graduate from Texas A&M University in the spring, died Wednesday night. All of the concertgoers who died following the Friday night show were between the ages of 14 and 27, underscoring how the tragedy unfolded in a mostly younger crowd.
A 9-year-old boy who was also injured at the sold-out festival of 50,000 people remains in a medically induced coma, according to family.
Concertgoers have described the packed crowd as growing dangerous even before headliner Travis Scott appeared on stage, and seeing people collapse while the rapper performed. Scott’s attorneys have said he did not know about the deaths and injuries until after the show.
On Thursday, Scott’s representatives said in a statement that he was distraught and has been trying to connect with the affected families to share condolences and provide them aid.
Hundreds of people were injured in the intensifying surge. A criminal investigation into the deaths at Astroworld is underway. Thursday was the last day attorneys who have filed more than 50 lawsuits to date were allowed access to the concert site at NRG Park, where the stage where Scott performed and surrounding crowd barricades have remained standing.
John Duff, whose clients include the family of the 9-year-old boy who remains hospitalized, said concertgoers in a section to the right of the stage would have had to go through thousands of people to access the main medical tent. He said the festival grounds are still littered with piles of bloody clothes, shoes, cellphone cases and bags.
“There were probably 1,000 pairs of shoes out there. It seems like a lot (of) people left barefoot or without clothes,” he said. “You kind of felt a heavy presence out there.”
Scott was only minutes into his set when at least one Houston officer radioed over a police channel that the main stage had been compromised by a massive crowd surge.
Recordings of police radio traffic, obtained by the Houston Chronicle, reveal how quickly law enforcement became aware of the rising danger in the throng of concertgoers shortly after the star rapper began performing at the sold-out music festival.
“Looks like folks are coming out of the crowd complaining of difficulty breathing, crushing-type injuries,” one official said over the police radio around 9:21 p.m., according to the audio obtained by the newspaper. “Seems like the crowd is compressing on itself.”
Scott kept performing his set, which lasted about an hour. The newspaper reported that officers spotted people leaving the crowd but that their voices remained calm through the first half-hour.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said during a news conference Wednesday that police told organizers to shut down the performance when fans in the crowd were administered CPR. Authorities gave word around 10:03 p.m. that the concert was in the process of shutting down, but witnesses say Scott and Drake, the superstar rapper who came on toward the end of Scott’s set as a special guest, kept performing.
Scott’s attorneys on Wednesday pointed to an operational plan for the event that states only the festival director and executive producers have the authority to stop the show, “neither of which is part of Travis’s crew.”
“Investigations should start proceeding over finger-pointing so that together, we can identify exactly what transpired and how we can prevent anything like this from happening again,” attorney Edwin F. McPherson said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.