American rapper, Travis Scott has responded to one of the more than 200 lawsuits filed against him in the wake of the Astroworld tragedy that resulted in the deaths of 10 people and left hundreds injured, denying its claims.
Legal documents filed this week claimed the suit against Scott and several of his businesses from Jesse Garcia, who said he was at Astroworld on 5 November when the fatal crowd surge occurred, should be dismissed with prejudice.
According to TMZ, the artist issued a “general denial” to the lawsuit (a blanket response to the allegations) and cited a source familar with the situation as saying Scott was planning to issue the same response to multiple lawsuits.
This comes after Scott’s lawyer previously suggested the rapper was unaware of what was happening during his performance, this is essentially the first time he has denied legal liability for the mass-casualty event.
Attorney Edwin F. McPherson previously told Good Morning America: “We’ve seen footage of police half an hour later just walking about and not looking like it was a mass casualty event, but clearly, the important thing is that never got to Travis, never got to Travis’ crew. He is up there trying to perform. He does not have any ability to know what’s going on down below, certainly on a mass level.”
Ten people died and hundreds were injured as the crowd surged during Scott’s performance at his two-day Astroworld festival. At least 50,000 people gathered for the third annual event on 5 November at the site of the former Houston Six Flags park.
Following the tragedy, numerous attendees have filed lawsuits against the rapper and his company.
The rapper’s general denial comes a week after the filing of a motion to consolidate the 200-plus lawsuits into a single ‘multi-district litigation’, although no ruling has been made on this as yet.
Scott also previously offered to pay the funeral costs of the victims, although five of the victims’ families, including relatives of nine-year-old Ezra Blount, have rejected this offer.
Rolling Stone reported that the Blount family had declined Scott’s offer to cover the boy’s funeral expenses, citing their lawyer Bob Hilliard’s written response to the rapper’s legal counsel, Daniel Petrocelli.
Mr Hilliard wrote: “Your client’s offer is declined. I have no doubt Mr Scott feels remorse. His journey ahead will be painful. He must face and hopefully see that he bears some of the responsibility for this tragedy.”