A pair of security guards who were injured during the deadly crowd surge at Astroworld are suing Travis Scott, Live Nation and the security contractor who hired them, claiming staffers at the event were hired with no background checks or even any “basic training.”
More than 200 lawsuits have already been filed on behalf of over 500 victims of Astroworld, which left 10 dead and hundreds more injured, but the new case – filed Nov. 19 by uncle and nephew Samuel and Jackson Bush – is potentially the first to be filed by employees working the event.
Like the many previous Astroworld lawsuits, the case accused Scott, Live Nation and others of negligence in how they planned and conducted the event. But it also brought claims against AJ Melino & Associates – a New York-based security contractor that allegedly hired them to work security at Astroworld.
In their petition filed in Houston court, the Bushes say AJ Melino “placed its security guards in harms way” by cutting corners in hiring practices.
“AJ Melino and Associates did not do a background check to determine if the security guards it hired had the requisite experience and training to safely work at a Travis Scott concert,” attorneys for the pair wrote. “AJ Melino and Associates did not provide basic training necessary for its security guards to perform their job safely the night of the Travis Scott concert at Astroworld.”
Samuel Bush says he was trampled multiple times, resulting in a broken hand and an injured back; Jackson Bush said he was mentally harmed when he was forced to pull a deceased person from the stampede.
AJ Melino did not return a request for comment on Tuesday. On its website, the company says its staff are “scrupulously screened, researched and subjected to thorough background checks” and that it uses “only the best of the best.”
In addition to Scott, Live Nation, and AJ Melino, the case named Cactus Jack Records, Live Nation unit ScoreMore, venue NRG Park, and security contractor Contemporary Services Corp., among others.
Even with hundreds of cases already filed, the new lawsuit is a reminder of how sprawling the litigation over Astroworld could eventually become. More than 50,000 fans attended the festival, which was serviced by huge numbers of employees and vendors who were potentially impacted by the disaster. The court battles could last for years, and could plausibly result in a damages award or settlement of hundreds of millions of dollars.
In the new case, the Bushes are represented by Bryan Pope and Larry F. Taylor of the Cochran Firm-Dallas PLLC.