After seeing a $750 million lawsuit filed earlier this week in the wake of the Astroworld tragedy, Live Nation Entertainment is staring down another lawsuit filed Thursday in the wake of the event, this one seeking more than double that in damages – $2 billion. The complaint was filed Thursday in Houston, with lawyer Thomas J. Henry indicating he represents 282 people, with an additional 120 in talks to join the action. Apple Music, NRG Stadium, Drake, and Travis Scott were also named in the lawsuit.
The complaint alleges that cost-cutting measures were to blame for the tragic events of two weeks ago, which saw a deadly crowd “surge” that left ten dead so far and hundreds of others injured in the tightly packed crowd as Travis Scott and Drake were performing on Friday night. The Saturday slate was called off after the incident halted the performances Friday, though some argue far later than it should have been.
“The defendants stood to make an exorbitant amount of money off of this event, and they still chose to cut corners, cut costs, and put attendees at risk,” Henry said in a statement. “My clients want to ensure the defendants are held responsible for their actions, and they want to send the message to all performers, event organizers, and promoters that what happened at Astroworld cannot happen again.”
As with others among the hundreds filed in the wake of the event, this action cites the documented history of Travis Scott inciting crowds at his shows, including calls to disregard security. Live Nation Entertainment’s security plan for the event has been criticised, with many pointing to the company’s checkered past of fan injuries and deaths at festivals it operates as indicative of a pattern of neglectful behavior.
The inclusion of Apple Music in the suit was explained by the firm as related to the presence of physical cameras and related materials that were in place to capture the performances for the companies exclusive online streaming rights for the ill-fated concert.
“Early reports from the investigation of the Astroworld catastrophe indicate that the premises were arranged in a fashion that best served Apple’s online streaming of the concert at the detriment to concertgoers safety,” the lawsuit reads. “Apple Music had cameras, camera stands, cameramen, and metal barriers surrounding each; these cameras effectively split the premises both horizontally and vertically by metal barricades,” the lawsuit continues. “The placement of cameras streaming for Apple Music’s broadcast effectively limited many concertgoers’ means of exit; this dangerous condition would inevitably prevent individuals from dispersing.”
Live Nation has continued to maintain silence in regards to the hundreds of lawsuits that are piling up, outside of early statements of support for the victims and promises that refunds would be made available, even if those refunds could include trojan horse provisions to help protect it from litigation if consumers accept.
Live Nation Entertainment stock (NYSE:LYV) continues to falter in the wake of the negative press, down to $112.96 per share as of Friday morning – a sharp fall from the record closing price of $123.80 it hit on Friday, November 5 after a better than expected earnings report – but only hours before the tragedy hit in Houston.