The tragic events involving the Astroworld Music Festival continue to unfold as the parents of John Hilgert, 14, who was killed in the incident, have filed a lawsuit against Travis Scott and his music production company, Cactus Jack Records.
Attorney Richard Mithoff, who is representing Hilgert’s family, said the teenager’s death demands more than punitive damages but also change. Filed last Wednesday, Nov. 24, at a Houston district court, it accuses Astroworld Festival organizers and promoters of gross negligence. It also lists more than a dozen defendants including Scott, Live Nation, Valle Security Texas, Scoremore, and others.
The 14-year-old Memorial High School freshman was among the youngest of 10 people killed at Astroworld Festival.
“He was a beautiful young man who simply wanted to enjoy his first concert event with friends, whom he treasured spending time with more than anything else,” father Chris Hilgert said.
Mithoff is also representing John’s best friend, who the attorney says was also trampled at the concert but was pulled to safety. They were standing next to each other when the crowd surge began, the lawsuit stated.
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The Hilgert family wants this lawsuit to transform the way concerts are organized from security requirements, medical facilities available, to the removal of mosh pits.
"Our sole aim in filing this lawsuit is to prevent this type of tragedy from ever happening again at a live concert,” Hilgert said. “There is no excuse for the poor crowd design, event execution, and lack of response that was exercised at this festival that resulted in the tragic death of our son and nine others along with scores of other people that were innocently injured.”
Also, according to Mithoff, the lawsuit said that the teenager suffered both mental and physical pain before his death; meanwhile, his parents continue to suffer from emotional pain and torment from the loss of their child.
“If this lawsuit prevents even one family from having to go through the extreme pain and anguish that we have endured, then it is the least we can do to honor John’s memory,” Chris Hilgert said.