Astroworld lawsuit says air in victim's lungs was 'literally slowly squeezed out of him' in the crowd surge

Astroworld lawsuit says air in victim's lungs was 'literally slowly squeezed out of him' in the crowd surge
Travis Scott performs onstage during the third annual Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas.Rick Kern/Getty Images
  • A new lawsuit was filed Tuesday on behalf of 125 Astroworld attendees, including Axel Acosta, who was killed.
  • The suit says "the air in his lungs was literally slowly squeezed out of him" in the crowd surge.

A new lawsuit filed on behalf of 125 Astroworld attendees says one victim's body was crushed and trampled by concertgoers, squeezing the air out of his lungs before he entered cardiac arrest.

Axel Acosta, 21, was one of 10 people killed and hundreds more injured at Travis Scott's music festival earlier in November. Scott and other entities responsible for planning the concert are now facing a slew of wrongful death and injury lawsuits.

"Axel was crushed by the incited, unruly, and out-of-control crowd with such force that he could no longer [breathe]; with such force that the air in his lungs was literally slowly squeezed out of him, sending him into cardiac arrest," the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in district court in Harris County, Texas, by the Houston-based attorney Tony Buzzbee and seeks $750 million in damages on behalf of Astroworld victims.

Scott continued to perform for nearly 40 minutes after the concert crowd began crushing people, which the lawsuit alleges showed his indifference to the death and injuries before him.


"Axel died that night on the muddy ground at a concert he attended for fun," the lawsuit says. "Axel Acosta loved and adored Travis Scott and the other performers at Astroworld — the feeling was not mutual; certainly, neither Travis Scott nor his exclusive partners, streaming service, record labels, handlers, entourage, managers, agents, hangers-on, promoters, organizers, or sponsors cared enough about Axel Acosta and the other concertgoers to make an even minimal effort to keep them safe."

The lawsuit describes a history of dangerous antics at previous Scott concerts and says the rapper's music glorifies violence. Representatives for Scott did not respond to Insider's request for comment on the suit, but in a previous statement, Scott's attorney, Edwin McPherson, said that "investigations should start proceeding over finger-pointing" so that people could "prevent anything like this from happening again."

Scott — whose real name is Jacques Berman Webster II — has said he was "devastated" by what authorities had declared a "mass casualty" event. The rapper also has said that he would issue refunds to concertgoers and pay for the funerals of people who died.

Buzzbee said in the lawsuit that Scott's offer was "a transparent and grotesque" attempt to limit his liability, and that he expected the defendants to try to force people who take refund money into binding arbitration.

"The Acosta family would rather Webster have privately spent money on proper planning, adequate security, and medical staff before the concert," Buzzbee wrote in the lawsuit. "Instead of publicly saying he would pay for the funeral costs of those who were crushed and killed. Webster's efforts, regardless of their sincerity, are far too little, and far too late."