May 24, 2024 2 min read

Live Nation settles final Astroworld wrongful death lawsuit, thousands of injury claims remain

The last of the ten wrongful death lawsuits filed following the 2021 Astroworld tragedy has been settled. There remain thousands of injury claims, some of which could get to trial later this year.

Live Nation settles final Astroworld wrongful death lawsuit, thousands of injury claims remain

Live Nation has now settled all ten of the wrongful death lawsuits that were filed in the wake of the 2021 Astroworld tragedy. The final settlement was announced yesterday. Terms of the settlement deals are not known, although - in an Astroworld litigation update contained in an SEC filing earlier this month - Live Nation listed $186 million in “estimated probable losses in excess of our expected probable insurance recoveries”. 

The final wrongful death lawsuit to be settled involved the family of Ezra Blount, who was just nine years old when he was killed in the fatal crowd surge that occurred during the headline set of festival founder Travis Scott. The family’s lawyer, Alex Hilliard, announced that a settlement deal had been reached, telling Law360, “The parties will cooperate in the future to honour Ezra Blount’s legacy and promote improvement in concert safety”. 

Live Nation, Travis Scott and various other entities involved in Astroworld were sued in the wake of the crowd surge tragedy, both by the families of the ten festival-goers who died, and by thousands more people who were injured during the incident. The lawsuits claimed that failings by those involved in organising the festival, both before and during the event, contributed to the crowd control issues that resulted in the fatal surge. 

Settling the wrongful death lawsuits was obviously a priority for Live Nation’s lawyers, with the first two settlements being confirmed in October 2022. Then, in an SEC filing earlier this year, Live Nation said six of those cases had been settled. 

One of the remaining four cases, involving the family of Madison Dubiski, was due to reach trial earlier this month, but was delayed because of legal wrangling by Apple. It was named as a defendant because it livestreamed Scott's Astroworld set, but presented various arguments as to why it should be removed from the lawsuit. When the judge overseeing the case rejected those arguments, Apple took the matter to appeal, putting the whole trial on hold. 

Before a new trial date could be set, it was announced that more settlements had been agreed, including with the Dubiski family. That put the spotlight very much on the Blount family’s lawsuit. The court then said that case should get to trial in September. But not now it’s been settled. 

With all the wrongful death lawsuits now dealt with, there remains the matter of the injury claims. About 2400 of those are still reportedly pending. Lawyers working on those lawsuits previously said they were prepared to take a group of their cases to trial later this year if the Blount wrongful death action was settled. 

Live Nation has been providing brief updates for investors on the Astroworld litigation in its filings with the US Securities & Exchange Commission, including providing estimates on any potential costs in relation to the lawsuits that are not covered by the live giant’s insurance. 

In its most recent filing on 2 May, reporting figures for the first quarter of 2024, it stated, “During the three month period ending, and subsequent to, 31 Mar 2024, we settled certain lawsuits and began settlement discussions in earnest with certain remaining parties”. 

“As a result”, it added, “we have recognised $186 million in the first quarter within selling, general and administrative expenses for the estimated probable losses in excess of our expected probable insurance recoveries”.

That estimate, it added, “may prove to be incomplete or inaccurate”, or “unanticipated events and circumstances” might require the company “to change those estimates and assumptions or recognise additional losses". With that in mind, it concluded, “The amount of additional liability, if any, that may result from these or related matters cannot be estimated at this time”. 

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