HOUSTON – Attorney Tony Buzbee announced Monday that his law firm will represent the family of one of the victims who died during Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival, along with several other concertgoers who were injured during Friday night’s event.
The family of Axel Acosta, a 21-year-old man from Washington who attended the festival at NRG Park with his brother, is being represented by Buzbee.
The attorney noted he will also represent 35 other concertgoers who were injured at the festival. He says he expects that number to grow.
In a news conference Monday, Buzbee announced he will file a lawsuit against Travis Scott, concert promoters ScoreMore, Live Nation, and Houston Sports and Convention Corporation, which included NRG Park, for “a horrific event that could have been prevented.” He said he hopes that the lawsuit would change the way concerts are organized for the whole country.
Buzbee is also suing the third-party security group Contemporary Services Corporation. He pointed out that no security was in place at the event, and none of the guards were checking COVID-19 vaccines or test results at any checkpoint.
“They did not have the right equipment. [Axel] did not need to die,” he said. “It was pure and utter chaos.”
Buzbee highlighted some of the past lawsuits that hit Travis Scott, including in 2017 where he was charged for inciting a riot at his show that took place at a Walmart in Arkansas. He was accused of encouraging fans to bypass security and rush towards the stage.
Axel’s family, including his brother and his father, Edgar, were present during the news conference. Buzbee mentioned that Edgar called each hospital in the area, Houston-area authorities, and the medical examiners’ office. He was told his son’s name was not on the list of identified victims.
It was when Edgar and his family found a photo of his son moving around the internet that they were able to locate it.
“Today it’s me, I lost my son. It could’ve been you, it could’ve been you,” Edgar said, “When you send your kid to have some fun, and because someone else isn’t providing the right security, you know? It’s not the first time he’s been to big events. You can go to Disneyland and have fun, a baseball game and have fun, because they have the right security.”
“I want everyone [to know] this could have been your kid,” Buzbee said during the news conference. “This concert was planned incredibly poorly, and no regard was given to the safety to these young people at the concert. No emergency response, no mechanism in place, not enough security personnel. Pure negligence.”
Buzbee said his firm has retained a former HPD major crime investigator, along with other professionals, to identify those responsible for the deadly event.
“We have already collected statements from multiple individuals who have been able to provide us with information about the night’s events, including key information about what was happening immediately before the first person fell,” Buzbee wrote in a Facebook post.
On Friday, Nov. 5, eight people were killed when the crowd suddenly surged toward the stage during a performance by rapper Travis Scott.
Those who died range in age from 14 to 27, and 13 people were still hospitalized, according to Mayor Sylvester Turner said.
Officials said there were about 50,000 people in attendance at the festival during the time of the incident.
Watch the full news conference below: