2 Naperville families sue rapper, concert organizers over deaths at Astroworld festival
The families of two Naperville men killed Nov. 5 in a crowd surge at the Astroworld Music Festival in Houston have filed wrongful death lawsuits against rapper Travis Scott, as well as concert promoters.
Lawyers for Ron Jurinek, the father of 20-year-old Jacob Jurinek, and Julio and Teresita Patino, the parents of 21-year-old Franco Patino, filed the suits Monday in Harris County District Court in Texas, seeking at least $1 million in damages.
"Parents shouldn't have to be worried that their children will be kicked, stepped on, trampled, and crushed to death at a concert," attorney Philip Corboy Jr. said in a news release.
Corboy says the Astroworld producers knew Scott had a history of urging crowds at his shows to rush the stage.
"He has a sordid history," Corboy said in an interview Tuesday.
That includes a 2015 Lollapalooza show in Chicago, where authorities stopped the performance. Scott was charged with disorderly conduct after police accused him of urging fans to climb over security barricades and ignore security workers at the concert.
"They (Astroworld's producers) did not prepare for that, and it is their job," Corboy said.
More than 300 lawsuits have already been filed, Yahoo Finance reports, over the Astroworld stampede that ultimately killed 10 people and injured hundreds, including a single $2 billion lawsuit filed by a Texas attorney on behalf of 282 people who were at Astroworld. A separate $750 million lawsuit was filed last week by a Houston lawyer on behalf of 125 others at Astroworld, including the family of one man who died.
The Naperville men's families' lawsuits say the defendants should have stopped the show instead of letting it continue for 40 minutes after city officials declared it a mass-casualty event. Corboy said he has a video of people near the stage who screamed "Stop the show! Stop the show!" at Scott. "He heard them and decided to go forward," Corboy said.
The suits also allege concert organizers failed to have adequate medical equipment and supplies on hand to treat injured patrons.
Authorities estimate about 50,000 people were at the festival in NRG Park.
Besides Scott, whose legal name is Jacques Bermon Webster II, defendants include Live Nation Worldwide, ScoreMore Holdings, Harris County Sports and Convention Corp., a security firm, and Scott's record label.
Scott tweeted the day after the festival, saying in part: "I'm absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival."
Jurinek and Patino were childhood friends and played together on the Neuqua Valley High School football team.
Patino was studying mechanical engineering technology at the University of Dayton in Ohio, and Jurinek was a journalism student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
"They were so close to each other. They were like brothers," Julio Patino Jr., Patino's older brother, said earlier this month. "Even at the very end, they were together."
The suits were filed by the Chicago firm of Corboy and Demetrio PC in conjunction with Houston attorney Lance Lubel.