Attorney Ben Crump Files Suit on Behalf of 90 More Astroworld Victims

Attorneys Ben Crump and Alex Hilliard announced Friday they filed suit on behalf of 90 additional victims of the Astroworld Festival crowd surge.

“They went to the concert expecting it to be safe, not expecting it to be deadly,” Crump said at a news conference in front of the Harris County Civil Courthouse in Houston.

Crump and Hilliard of Hilliard Martinez Gonzales, LLP are representing a total of about 250 victims they say sustained a combination of physical and emotional injuries. 

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Some of the victims spoke at Friday’s news conference.

“The Astroworld Festival was by far the most traumatizing experience of my life,” said Uniqua Smith, a mother of 14-year-old twins. “The thing that stands out to me the most in my memory is I remember being crushed by human beings.”

“At this point, I feel I am very shaken up with large crowds,” she continued.

In a phone call Friday with Urban Hollywood 411, Hilliard said his clients were traumatized by the deadly crowd surge at the festival. 

This was an entirely preventable tragedy — every single festival goer experienced injuries in some form or fashion,” Hilliard stated.

“Tragically some lost their lives, but what this highlights is the mental health aspect that is present and needs to be made aware of today, which is that PTSD and emotional trauma is an injury that does not heal as fast as a broken arm,” he continued. 

That type of injury is something my clients will never heal from and those that are responsible for causing it, Live Nation, need to be held accountable because this was not something that was unexpected — except people, customers that attended the festival. Everyone else knew that this was almost guaranteed to happen and yet they required people to pay $400 to put their lives at risk,” Hilliard said. 

He added that the legal team has brought in investigators to research the concert venue and the causes of the crowd surge.

Nine people died after attending the opening night of this year’s Astroworld music festival on Friday, Nov. 5.

Dozens of others were injured when a huge crowd pushed toward the stage as festival founder Travis Scott performed around 9:15 pm. 

Eight people were initially reported among the deceased. Later, 22-year-old Bharti Shahani succumbed to her injuries Wednesday night after being on a ventilator.

The victims who died ranged in age from 14 to 27.

Hilliard said the 90 lawsuits filed on Friday are all part of one petition, yet each client has their own case and lawsuit, alleging PTSD injuries and some alleging severe physical injuries. 

Hilliard expects to have “anywhere from 2,500 to 5,000 clients” come forward by the end of next week.

Previously, Crump, Hilliard, and Bob Hilliard had announced they were representing a nine-year-old boy trampled at the Astroworld festival. 

Crump has represented victims in prominent civil rights cases, including the families of  Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Hilliard has worked alongside Crump in civil rights cases as well, including representing the mother of Zeke Upshaw, a 26-year-old professional basketball player for the Detroit Pistons Grand Rapids Drive NBA G League team who collapsed  during a game and died from sudden cardiac arrest.

Watch the press conference below: