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'Shameful': Houston attorney blasts Travis Scott's request for dismissal from Astroworld lawsuits

Chron logo Chron 12/7/2021 Ariana Garcia
© Alex Bierens De Haan/Getty Images

A Houston attorney representing one of the 10 victims that died after a crowd surged at Astroworld Festival last month has condemned headliner Travis Scott's recent request to have several lawsuits filed against him dismissed. Attorney James Lassiter in a Tuesday news release described Scott's effort to dodge responsibility as "shameful" and revealing of the Houston rapper's true character.

"By taking the unusual step of asking a judge to toss out these lawsuits with prejudice, Mr. Scott is arguing that his many victims should be prohibited from ever naming him in a lawsuit," Lassiter said in a statement. "This extraordinary request exposes Mr. Scott as an entitled celebrity who appallingly thinks of himself as the victim."

Lassiter is representing the family of Bharti Shahani, a 22-year-old Texas A&M University student who suffered traumatic, fatal injuries at the Nov. 5 concert, which she attended with her sister and cousin. On Monday, Scott denied allegations in 11 different Astroworld lawsuits, including one filed by Bhaghu Shahani, Bharti's father. 


Video: What happens to Travis Scott's career and community pursuits? (ABC 13 Houston)

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Lassiter said Scott and others ignored standard safety protocols and encouraged overcrowding in the interest of financial profit. He said the legal motion filed on Scott's behalf in answer to the victims' lawsuit goes beyond the standard general denial commonly seen in litigation. 

"Travis Scott's attempt to escape from responsibility for creating a deadly situation from which his fans could not escape is shameful and, sadly, true to form," Lassiter said.

Daniel Petrocelli, head of Scott's legal team reached out to victims' families with an offer from Scott to cover the funeral costs of the deceased, a gesture Lassiter said was nothing more than an effort to salvage the rapper's public image. Lassiter said he looks forward to presenting evidence in court of Scott's significant role in the night's tragic events . 

"While Mr. Scott continues using social media to present a public image of someone who is grieved by the catastrophic loss of life that his actions caused, he is quietly paying celebrity lawyers to argue his victims deserve nothing more than symbolic help with funeral costs," Lassiter said. "Mr. Scott's actions matter more than his words, and his actions are those of a man more concerned with salvaging his career than taking responsibility for the damage he's done."

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