Court documents acquired by Billboard show that the nearly 400 lawsuits that were filed individually will now be presided over by a single judge. The Texas Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation authorized the move last week, with at least 387 lawsuits—representing almost 2,800 alleged victims—being unified under one case. The motion was filed by both the festival organizers and the victims. One firm that had over 1500 Astroworld attendees as clients did attempt to hold out during consolidation, though any objections were later removed.
In the mammoth case brought against Live Nation, Scott, and festival organizers, the plaintiffs are seeking billions in damages, alleging negligence in the planning and managing of Astroworld.
This “multidistrict litigation” is typical for large injury lawsuits, where efficiency in trying similar cases at the same time is the goal. Mass cases such as these usually end in big settlements. While it’s unclear what judge will preside over the case, both sides asked for Judge Lauren Reeder, without specifying why.
In late December, news surfaced that the tragedy had also led to government involvement. The House Oversight and Reform Committee launched a probe into the Astroworld festival in November. The Congressional panel sent a letter to the promoter’s president and CEO, Michale Rapino, requesting information about Live Nation’s role in the incident.
“Recent reports raise serious concerns about whether your company took adequate steps to ensure the safety of the 50,000 concertgoers who attended Astroworld Festival,” the committee’s letter said.
“Some attendees stated that the placement of barricades made it difficult to escape,” the letter continued. “Experts have stated that Astroworld Festival organizers failed to heed warning signs.”