Shanazia Williamson and Jarawd Owens sue rapper Travis Scott, Live Nation and others, claiming in a suit that Williamson was “trampled and crushed resulting in the death of her and Jarawd’s unborn child”
By Bret Lewis – May 13, 2022
A woman who suffered a miscarriage after sustaining multiple injuries while attending rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival has sued Scott, promoter Live Nation and others for wrongful death, documents seen by Media Music News disclosed.
Jarawd Owens and his wife Shanazia Williamson of Dayton, Ohio were looking forward to having a child before the AstroWorld festival and filed the suit against the rapper, promoters Live Nation and ScoreMore, security company Valle Services SMG, ASM Global, and the Harris County Sports and Convention corporation. The lawsuit was filed last December 2021 but has not been previously reported.
“While in attendance at the festival, Shanazia was trampled and crushed resulting in horrific injuries and ultimately the death of her and Jarawd’s unborn child,” the lawsuit mentions. “In addition, Shanazia sustained injuries to her shoulder, back, leg, chest, stomach and other parts of her body.”
“Defendants’ failure to plan, design, manage, operate, staff, and supervise the event was a direct and proximate cause of Shanazia’s injuries and death of her and Jarawd’s unborn child,” the lawsuit mentions. The lawsuit also went on to mention that the defendants were negligent for many different reasons including inadequate security and medical personnel for the festival along with failing to recognize safety hazards, among several other claims.
Owens and Williamson’s attorneys Kurt Arnold and Jason Itkin refused to comment on the case, specifying February’s gag order limiting what attorneys can say publicly about Astroworld cases.
The couple’s lawsuit is one of the more difficult to arise from Astroworld festival. While the lawsuit doesn’t concern abortion rights, it carries the same suggestion that fuel the debates on when life begins. States across the U.S. have their own factors on whether a fetus can be eligible for wrongful death lawsuits. Texas’s Civil Practice and Remedies code particularly includes fetuses as eligible in these lawsuits from the moment of fertilization.
It is unclear how often claims like these arise or what type of legal precedent Williamson and Owens’s claim could bring. Texas has included fetuses within its wrongful death claim statutes since 2003. As Elizabeth Sepper — a law professor at the University of Texas who specializes in health law, constitutional law, and religious liberty — notes, Texas’s court system hasn’t had to handle a lot of cases like these given that so many lawsuits end with out-of-court settlements.
Travis Scott has repeatedly denied any responsibility for the tragedy, and in the days following the disaster, the rapper said he would cover the funeral costs of all of the victims who died at the show. But as Media Music News reported, many of the families have rejected his offer, labeling it a public relations strategy. Six months after Astroworld, the rapper performed publicly for the first time at a concert in Miami over the weekend.
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