A woman who lost her pregnancy after sustaining multiple injuries while attending Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival has sued Live Nation promoter Scott and others for wrongful death, documents reviewed by rolling stone to reveal.
Expecting a child for the festival, Shanazia Williamson and her husband Jarawd Owens of Dayton, Ohio, filed a lawsuit against Scott, promoters Live Nation and ScoreMore, security firm Valle Services SMG, ASM Global and the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation. The charges were filed in December last year, but have not been previously reported.
More from Rolling Stone
“While attending the festival, Shanazia was trampled and crushed, resulting in horrific injuries and ultimately the death of her and Jarawd’s unborn child,” the suit says. In addition, Shanazia sustained injuries to her shoulder, back, leg, chest, abdomen and other parts of her body.
“Defendants’ inability to plan, design, manage, execute, staff and supervise the event was a direct and immediate cause of Shanazia’s injuries and the death of her and Jarawd’s unborn child,” the indictment said. The lawsuit also alleged that the defendants were negligent for a variety of reasons, including insufficient security and medical personnel for the festival, along with failing to recognize security risks, among several other allegations.
Video: Hulu Pulls Astroworld Documentary
Williamson and Owens’ attorneys Jason Itkin and Kurt Arnold declined to comment on the case, citing the February gag order limiting what attorneys can publicly reveal about Astroworld cases.
The couple’s suit is one of the most complicated to come out of the festival. While the process doesn’t address abortion rights, it has the same implications that fuel debates about when life begins. States across the country have their own determinants about whether a fetus can qualify for wrongful death cases. The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code specifically includes fetuses eligible for these lawsuits from the time of conception.
It’s not immediately clear how common such claims are or what kind of legal precedent Williamson and Owens’ claim might set. (Texas has included fetuses in its wrongful-death claims statutes since 2003.) As Elizabeth Sepper—a law professor at the University of Texas who specializes in health law, constitutional law, and religious liberty—points out, the Texas justice system doesn’t have to. to do. handle many of these cases, as so many tort lawsuits end with out-of-court settlements.
However, such cases raise ethical questions about how legal entities define a living person. Proponents of abortion refute the idea that life begins at conception. Anyway, as Sepper says, that doesn’t mean that cases like these should conflict with how abortions are legally judged. While she notes that treating the termination of a fetus as a civil or criminal matter could mean granting the fetuses constitutional rights reserved for living humans, she says it could also be interpreted more simply within the broader tort law law. act on the physical and psychological toll that a possible act of negligence can have on the pregnant person.
“When considering these kinds of cases, courts have sometimes said that this is not a situation like abortion,” Stepper added. “It doesn’t involve the same kind of analysis because when we think of abortion, we balance the state’s interest in preserving or protecting fetal life against a pregnant person’s right to privacy and bodily autonomy so that their interests conflict. But when we talk about a tort resulting in the loss of a pregnancy, the interests of the pregnant woman align with a fetal interest, and it is in the interest of the mother that people do not commit mistakes against the fetus she carries .”
Sepper notes that the alleged negligence of a defendant that led to the termination of the fetus does not offer the same protection as an abortion. “In your mundane case involving a wrongful death of a fetus, you would have a pregnant person sue, say, a careless driver.” says Sepper. “Reckless drivers have no constitutional defense. They cannot claim to have an interest in privacy or physical integrity during pregnancy. Even though these statutes might send a message about fetal personality, the careless driver has no interest as physical integrity in not allowing this statute to apply.”
Williamson and Owens’ claim is one of hundreds filed by concertgoers, show workers and families of victims since the tragedy, totaling billions of dollars in potential damages against Scott and his label Cactus Jack, along with Live Nation and ScoreMore, Apple, security companies that operated the event, the venue itself and several other companies and people involved in Astroworld.
A new document filed Monday in Harris County revealed that more than 700 attendees who filed a lawsuit after the festival claim to have suffered injuries that required “extensive” medical treatment. More than 4,900 claimed they had suffered some form of injury.
Live Nation and its subsidiary ScoreMore have denied all allegations against them, as has Contemporary Services Corporation, the main security provider for the event. (With regard to the Williamson and Owens case in particular, Live Nation and ScoreMore have denied all allegations, as have SMG, ASM Global and the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation. Valle Services has yet to comment on the lawsuit and declined to comment. for Scott, who also did not respond to the suit, did not immediately respond to rolling stones request for comment.)
Scott has repeatedly denied any responsibility for the tragedy and in the days following the disaster, the rapper said he would cover the funeral costs of all victims who died during the show. but if rolling stone reported, many of the families have rejected his offer, calling it a public relations strategy. Six months after Astroworld, Scott made his first public appearance this weekend at a concert in Miami.
The best of Rolling Stone
Click here to read the full article.