UPDATED 12/8, 10:40 a.m. ET: Travis Scott denies allegations in six lawsuits filed against him over the Astroworld Festival tragedy, CNN reports. The documents, which were viewed by CNN, state that “defendants generally deny the allegations set forth,” and request that the claims be denied with prejudice, which would bar them from ever being brought to court again.
The family of Bharti Shahani, who died at the festival, as well as reps for Joseph Ferguson, who was there, responded to Scott’s filings.
“Travis Scott’s attempt to escape responsibility for creating a deadly situation from which his fans could not escape is shameful and, sadly, true to form,” Houston attorney James Lassiter said, per CNN.
“While he continues using social media to present a public image of someone who is grieved by the catastrophic loss of life that his actions caused, he is quietly paying celebrity lawyers to argue his victims deserve nothing more than symbolic help with funeral costs.”
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The rapper filed legal documents this week, per TMZ, in which he asked for claims against him and his companies—Jack Enterprises and Cactus Jack—by Jessie Garcia to be dropped with prejudice. He’s issued a “general denial” in response to the civil suit, which in legal terms means he denies responsibility for the deaths and over 300 injuries sustained at the festival.
Sources close to the situation told the outlet that Scott is expected to issue similar dismissal requests in response to each of the civil lawsuits against him. There are 275 suits in total.
On Friday, Variety reported that attorneys for both sides have filed a motion to consolidate the cases, and both defendants and the 2,500 or so plaintiffs have agreed to the move. The motion was filed as many of the suits make similar claims and were filed against the same parties, which also included Live Nation, Apple, and Drake, among others. If the motion goes through, it will be combined into a “multi-district litigation” and Travis will only need to file the one dismissal request.
“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,” reads the motion. It is expected that more cases will be filed, and the motion could cover any future suits related to the disaster.
Travis Scott offered to pay for the funeral expenses of those impacted by the crowd crush, but his gesture has been rejected by multiple families. He has issued two statements via social media on the festival, and said he was “devastated” by the deaths and injuries.
“You know my fans really mean the world to me, and I always really wanna leave them with a positive experience,” he said after Astroworld Fest.