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Family of a 21-year-old who died at last year’s Astroworld Festival settles lawsuit against event organizers

<i>Robert Bumsted/AP</i><br/>Two friends of a victim of the fatal crowd surge at the Astroworld Festival embraced at a Houston memorial on November 7
Robert Bumsted/AP
Two friends of a victim of the fatal crowd surge at the Astroworld Festival embraced at a Houston memorial on November 7

By Andy Rose, CNN

The family of a victim who was among the 10 people killed in a crowd surge last year at a concert in Houston settled a lawsuit against the organizers of the event, according to a family attorney.

The suit from the estate of Axel Acosta Avila sought more than $750 million in damages after the 21-year-old college student died along with nine others at the Astroworld Festival, which quickly turned into chaos last November as rapper Travis Scott performed on stage.

Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the family, confirmed the settlement to CNN in a written statement and said the terms are confidential.

“Victim Axel Acosta was a beloved son, brother, and student. He was kind and loving. He is greatly missed. Please keep his family in your prayers,” Buzbee said.

The Acosta family was among 125 plaintiffs who sued event organizers Live Nation and headliner Scott last year. CNN reached out to Scott and Live Nation’s representatives on Thursday.

The sold-out festival was one of the most highly anticipated music events of the year as many around the US were easing back to normalcy after the Covid-19 pandemic had shut down countless social events.

Thousands were in attendance, many from farther parts of the country — including Acosta, who was a junior at Western Washington University.

But the festival turned into a tragedy within minutes when packed concertgoers were crushed, trampled and struggled to breathe as people surged toward the stage during Scott’s opening performance.

Fire and police officials at the festival reported alarming behavior earlier in the day. A handful of injured concertgoers were taken to the hospital in ambulances on the morning and afternoon on the day of the festival, Houston Fire Department logs showed.

At the time, it was unclear what Scott saw from the stage and whether he was aware of the crowd conditions, but he continued to perform nearly an hour after a “crush injury” was reported.

Police also reported multiple people were trampled and passed out at the front of the stage as the concert continued.

The turmoil prompted officials to declare the concert a “mass casualty event,” police said at the time.

Scott did not know of the mass casualty declaration until the following morning, his lawyer has said.

In a statement released after the deadly crowd surge, Scott said he was “distraught by the situation and desperately wishes to share his condolences and provide aid to (the victims) as soon as possible.” He also offered to pay for the victims’ funerals.

The-CNN-Wire
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CNN’s Aya Elamroussi and Raja Razek contributed to this report.

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