The Astroworld tragedy resulted in 10 deaths and hundreds of injuries, and has spawned some 275 lawsuits alleging negligence and misconduct on the part of the concert promoters, the venue and headliner Travis Scott.
Attorneys on both sides of the sprawling litigation have filed a motion to consolidate those cases before a single judge for pretrial purposes. According to the filing, all the principal defendants have consented to the move, along with attorneys representing 2,500 plaintiffs or potential plaintiffs.
Scott was performing at NRG Park in Houston on Nov. 5. Shortly after he took the stage, the crowd began to surge forward, crushing many people and causing some to be trampled on the ground. Scott paused the concert several times, and at one point an ambulance came into the crowd. But the show continued for nearly an hour, despite pleas from some of the concertgoers to shut it down. The dead included a 9-year-old boy, Ezra Blount, as well as a 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl.
In the filing, the parties state that consolidation is warranted because the claims alleged in the lawsuits are broadly similar.
“Nearly every petition alleges the same or similar common fact questions related to the alleged negligence — such as failures of safety and security rules, crowd control and emergency response measures, and failures to provide adequate security, supervision, training, and care,” the motion states.
More and more cases continue to be filed, and the motion asks that those cases be consolidated as well.
Such consolidation is typical for “multidistrict litigation” involving similar harms that affect large numbers of plaintiffs, such as asbestos litigation, environmental contamination cases, and various other product liability suits. Though the cases are not formally combined into a single case, pre-trial motions and discovery are consolidated under a single judge for the sake of efficiency. Some cases may then go to trial individually, which could help resolve the remaining cases.
The parties ask that Harris County Judge Lauren Reeder be assigned to handle the cases. The motion was filed Thursday with the Texas Supreme Court’s panel on multidistrict litigation.