Astroworld Festival: Attorney for family of 21-year-old who died in crowd surge speaks out

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HOUSTON, Texas (NBC) – On Monday, attorneys for the family of one of the victims who died in a crowd surge Friday night at the Astroworld Festival, held a press conference to explain the lawsuit they’re about to file on behalf of a 21-year-old victim.

The cause of death has not yet been released for Axel Acosta, computer science at Western Washington University, but his attorney says his client died as a result of a “phenomenon known as crowd rush.”

Tony Buzbee said that people involved in a crowd rush get carried by a river of people uncontrollably. “People involved do not die from being trampled – they die from what is known as compressive asphyxiation from the sheer force of bodies being stacked on top of them. This is exactly what happened to Axel.”

Buzbee said Acosta loved rap music, loved the lineup that was going to be playing at Astroworld,” but that love was not returned.  

“Certainly neither Travis Scott, nor his handlers, entourage, managers, agents, hangers-on, promoters, organizers or sponsors cared enough about Axel to make even a minimal effort to keep him and the others at the concert safe.”

In addition, Buzbee said his firm will be filing a lawsuit on behalf of 35 other people and the number is growing.

“Our phone has rang off the hook,” he said. “I think it’s self-evident that this concert was planned incredibly poorly, that no regard was given to the safety of the young people at the concert. that there was no emergency response mechanism in place to help those who were in the extremist situation.”

He added there wasn’t enough medical or security personnel, and that there were more people there than should’ve been there, and that the way the concert was set up planned organized and handled when the problem arose “boggles the mind.”

The lawsuit will be filed against a plethora of people and companies involved. Some of those include Stormore Entities, which encompasses the promoters and management, which he said has already been sued multiple times for the same thing, and also Live Nation Entertainment, one of the event organizers.

Buzbee said he expects to file the suit sometime this week. “We want to make sure we get it right and that everyone is included that needs to be included, Buzbee said, adding that the intent of the lawsuit is to change the way concerts are put on organized promoted and managed in the U.S. and in the world.

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