Apple could face a lawsuit for its participation in the Houston Astroworld Festival that left eight dead and nearly 300 people injured, according to personal injury lawyer Thomas Henry, who is representing several victims.
The concert, headlining rapper Travis Scott, turned deadly on November 5, after eyewitnesses say a crowd surge led many to faint, go into cardiac arrest and get trampled.
Apple Music had exclusive rights to live-stream the event.
In the aftermath of the show, eyewitnesses took to social media to describe how their cries to stop the show went largely unanswered, due in part to the fact that the concert was being live-streamed.
I screamed for help so many times, alerted security, asked everyone in the crowd if there was anyone who was CPR certified. Every call went unanswered. I was told, “we already know, and we can’t do anything to stop the show, they’re streaming live” Disgusting. #ASTROWORLDFest— Cody Hartt (@CodyHartt) November 6, 2021
“Apple Music shares the responsibility and the profits of streaming this and [they] will have obtained contract rights, so Apple Music may very well become a defendant,” Henry said. “We're looking at that right now.”
On Sunday, the law offices of Thomas J. Henry filed the first lawsuit against Scott, whose real name is Jaques Bermon Webster; rapper Drake (Aubrey Graham); Live Nation; Scoremore and NRG Stadium.
According to Henry, that number has since grown, with the firm now representing “60 to 70” victims.
“We are being retained moment by moment,” Henry said.
Each lawsuit is being pursued individually and Henry expects to request a jury trial date within the year, after all defendants are served.
According to Henry, since the initial lawsuit, his office has been contacted by Live Nation’s legal representative, Houston attorney Darrell Barger. He has not been contacted by Scott or Drake’s legal teams.
If found to have responsibility, Apple Music could be served, Henry said, as well as other defendants that are currently being added to the case.
Despite the ongoing litigation, however, Scott, Apple Music and Live Nation took to social media to respond to the incident.
Apple Music also removed tweets relating to Astroworld Fest from its page.
.@AppleMusic tweeted *after* the deaths at Travis Scott/Astroworld, “see ya on the other side. @trvisXX went big for H-Town.” This was likely a highly unfortunate pre-scheduled tweet, but is rightly raising eyebrows. pic.twitter.com/3WwGQDdS5s— Jenn Dize Flint CORRUPTION | see pinned (@jennelizabethj) November 7, 2021
On Monday, Scott announced he will pay for the funeral costs of the eight victims killed at Astroworld. He also said his nonprofit organization, the Cactus Jack Foundation, has partnered with BetterHelp to provide free therapy to Astroworld concert goers for one month.
Fallout from the event has already begun, with Fortnite removing the Travis Scott emote from its platform. Nike, on the other hand, removed the SNKRS Guide to Houston page from its website on Tuesday, a dedicated microsite for pending collaborative releases with Scott.
Nike, Apple Music, Live Nation and Barger did not respond to requests for comment.
This story first appeared on PRWeek US.