Attorney Michael Lyons: Concert organizers and producers ‘brazenly courted’ tragedy
DALLAS – Texas trial firm Lyons & Simmons, LLP has filed a lawsuit against Live Nation, rapper and producer Travis Scott, and other defendants on behalf of the family of Mirza Danish Baig, Basil Baig, and Olivia Swingle. Danish Baig was killed fighting to save Swingle during the mass casualty crowd surge at the Astroworld Festival.
Danish Baig, a resident of Crowley, Texas, was one of 10 who died from injuries sustained during a crowd surge on the opening night of the live music festival organized by Scott and promoted by Live Nation, one of the world’s largest live entertainment companies. Hundreds more were injured, including Baig’s partner, Olivia Swingle and his brother, Basil Baig.
“This tragedy was foreseeable and brazenly courted,” said Michael Lyons, co-founder of Lyons & Simmons. “The Astroworld Festival creators, organizers, promoters, security contractors, and performers failed Danish, Olivia, Basil, and all the other victims.
“Each of the responsible parties pushed boundaries of common sense and turned their heads to the dangers, simply for profit,” he said. “And when it was obvious they had lost complete control of the situation, instead of stopping the show, they made the decision to continue. That disregard resulted in one of the worst mass-casualty events at a concert in history. It’s a total disgrace.”
According to the lawsuit, the potential dangers presented by this type of venue and by Scott were well documented. Since 2015, Scott has twice been arrested for encouraging fans to bypass security measures and rush the stage. Several fans were injured during a stampede to get into his 2019 Astroworld event. Although the 2021 festival was sold out, the lawsuit points to social media posts by Scott encouraging non-ticketholders to “sneak in” to the event.
Prior to Scott taking the stage, organizers already knew that security had lost control of what had become an unmanageable crowd, but allowed the show to continue, even as a chant to stop the show emanated from those being crushed in the audience. As Baig struggled to try to lead Swingle out of the chaos, they were separated from Basil and eventually each other. While Baig’s selfless efforts resulted in Swingle escaping the melee, he was overwhelmed by the crowd, later succumbing to his injuries. Baig died less than two weeks shy of his 28th birthday.
“Danish sacrificed his life trying to save Olivia from the mayhem of an over-stimulated, unregulated crush of at least 50,000 people,” said Lyons & Simmons co-founder Chris Simmons. “Olivia and Basil are trying to heal from their physical wounds. But the Baig family and Olivia will never fully recover from the pain of knowing that he suffered such a horrific and preventable death.
“Danish will always be remembered as a hero for his actions, but his loved ones want to make sure no one else’s loved one is ever killed in such a needless way simply by attending a concert.”
The lawsuit is Mujahid Baig and Farhana Baig, Basil Baig and Olivia Swingle v. Live Nation Worldwide, Scoremore Holdings, ASM Global, Harris County Sports & Convention Corp., Jacques Berman Webster II a/k/a Travis Scott, Cactus Jack Records, and Contemporary Services Corp.
About Lyons & Simmons, LLP
Dallas-based Lyons & Simmons, LLP, is a trial boutique representing clients in wrongful death, personal injury, products liability, and complex “bet-the-company” business litigation matters across the country. To learn more, visit https://www.lyons-simmons.com.