People who have started to receive Astroworld refunds might want to take a second look at the fine print.
According to a legal expert who spoke to Insider, they might be signing away their right to sue the event organizers if they chose to.
We have reported that 9 people have sadly passed away in connection to the crowd surge at the music festival hosted by Travis Scott.
Hundreds of people were injured after the crowd of more than 50,000 people rushed toward the stage.
According to Insider:
Scoremore, the festival’s organizer, released a joint statement with Live Nation, the event’s promoter, saying that individual refunds would be offered to everyone who bought tickets for the event.
It is unclear whether concertgoers will be automatically refunded or must request a refund from the organizers, but legal experts say that anyone who accepts the refund may be waiving their right to sue the companies.
Live Nation and Scoremore did not immediately return Insider’s requests for comment on Friday.
Neama Rahmani, the president and a cofounder of the personal injury firm West Coast Trial Lawyers, said concertgoers who accept a refund could be waiving their right to sue because they would be receiving something of value.
“Courts generally uphold those types of waivers,” Rahmani told Insider. “The classic case is arbitration agreements. Everyone kind of scrolls through. No one reads the fine print, and guess what, you’ve waived your right to a jury trial, waived your right to file a lawsuit, to demand arbitration.”
But Dmitriy Shakhnevich, an adjunct assistant professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told Insider that he didn’t think a refund agreement negating concertgoers’ right to sue festival organizers would be enforceable in court.
“If after an event that is traumatizing and that is difficult to overcome, you give somebody a refund for a ticket and sneak in some language in there, at the very least, that can be challenged in court in good faith,” Shakhnevich said.
“By agreeing to individual arbitration, you and we each waive any right to participate in a class-action lawsuit or class-wide arbitration,” the waiver says.
According to Shakhnevich, Live Nation would need to file a motion to move the case to arbitration if someone filed a lawsuit related to the event, which would open the door for the plaintiff to challenge the enforceability of the terms of service.
Rahmani said in an email that while arbitration provisions were “generally upheld by the courts,” a person who used the ticket service and still wanted to sue Live Nation could challenge the agreement on the basis that it did not notify concertgoers that there was a potential for violence at the event.
“The terms discuss Live Nation’s website, mobile app, tickets, COVID, etc., but not the potential for serious injury or death caused by the setup of the event, security or lack thereof, or artists encouraging violence,” Rahmani said.