Travis Scott has begun the process of dismissing the hundreds of lawsuits over his deadly Astroworld festival. Per TMZ, the Houston rapper has filed to have a civil suit against him and his companies — Jack Enterprises and Cactus Jack — be dropped with prejudice.
Scott is issuing a “general denial” in response to attendee Jessie Garcia’s lawsuit, meaning he wants to deny responsibility for all allegations in one blanket response. TMZ reports that Travis and his legal team are preparing a similar response to every civil suit filed against him.
This may not be necessary, however, as attorneys for both victims and festival organizers filed a joint petition last week to combine the mounting number of cases into a single “multi-district litigation.” As Billboard points out, this is standard procedure in mass injury lawsuits and will allow a single judge to oversee and coordinate the cases.
“Transfer of all of these lawsuits to a single pretrial judge for consolidated and coordinated pretrial proceedings will eliminate duplicative discovery, conserve resources of the judiciary, avoid conflicting legal rulings and scheduling, and otherwise promote the just and efficient conduct of all actions,” the two sides wrote.
10 deaths and over 300 injuries occurred during a crowd crush at Scott’s November 5th festival. Since then, he has offered refunds to all attendees, and promised to cover funeral expenses for the victims. The tragedy has led to nearly 300 lawsuits, including one seeking $750 million in damages from Scott, Drake, promoter Live Nation, and Apple Music, which live-streamed the festival.
In response, Chuck D of Public Enemy recently argued Scott is being unfairly blamed for Live Nation’s failures. In an open letter, he wrote, “I’m not buying the Young Black Man did it. He’s being blamed for a crime while the old white men running the corps that Travis and his fans trusted with their lives stay quiet in the shadows.”
Public perception has not been helped Scott’s recent actions: He has a long history of encouraging reckless behavior; after the concert, he went to Dave and Buster’s; and in his first public appearance following the lawsuits, he golfed with Michael Jordan and Mark Wahlberg.