The Houston Chronicle reports Live Nation and Travis Scott, under fire for the recent disaster at the Astroworld Festival last month, have made a prominent hire as they prepare to defend themselves from a deluge of cases from injured attendees and the families of the 10 people who died as a result of the crowd crush at Astroworld.
Scott has tapped global corporate law firm O’Melveny & Myers’ head of litigation Daniel Petrocelli, who is best known for representing Fred Goldman in the 1997 trial against OJ Simpson for the wrongful deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. OJ was found liable in that case, despite being previously acquitted for the murders in a criminal trial.
It was Petrocelli who reached out to the families of victims who died at the festival with the offer to cover funeral costs; however, half the families, including that of 9-year-old Ezra Blount, rejected the offer, writing in response, “[Scott] must face and hopefully see that he bears some of the responsibility for this tragedy. There may be, and I hope there is, redemption and growth for him on the other side of what this painful process will be – and perhaps one day, once time allows some healing for the victims and acceptance of responsibility by Mr. Scott and others, Treston and Mr. Scott might meet – as there is also healing in that.”
Meanwhile, Live Nation’s head defender will be the Susman Godfrey law firm, prompting the lawyer representing about 75 victims to say, “For Live Nation to hire the Susman firm shows that the company knows it is in deep trouble and is preparing for a bet-the-company litigation fight.”
According to the Chronicle, more than 120 lawsuits have been filed by about 600 plaintiffs seeking damages totaling over $3 billion. The cases may be consolidated in order to manage the caseload.