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Travis Scott hires veteran O'Melveny litigator for Astroworld defense

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Jonathan Maya places flowers at a gate to NRG Park, after a deadly crush of fans during a performance the night before at the Astroworld Festival by rapper Travis Scott in Houston, Texas, U.S. November 6, 2021. REUTERS/Daniel Kramer

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  • Dan Petrocelli will represent Scott, along with two other partners, according to the firm
  • Petrocelli's past clients have included former Enron CEO, former President Trump

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(Reuters) - A team of O'Melveny & Myers lawyers led by litigator Daniel Petrocelli are defending rapper Travis Scott as he faces a slew of lawsuits filed following a deadly stampede at the recent Astroworld Festival, according to a firm spokesperson.

Petrocelli, the firm's Los Angeles-based vice chair, will work with O'Melveny product liability and mass torts practice partners Steve Brody and Sabrina Strong, the spokesperson said.

Scott faces lawsuits in the hundreds after chaos during the Houston concert Nov. 5 led to ten deaths and widespread injuries.

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The lawsuits have included claims of negligence and failure to provide proper medical attention to victims.

Petrocelli, who is also chair of O’Melveny’s trial practice, has worked with high profile clients throughout his career.

He represented Ron Goldman's family in a civil wrongful death lawsuit filed against O.J. Simpson and Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling, in his trial for insider trading and criminal fraud amid the company's collapse.

When then-presidential candidate Donald Trump was running for office in 2016, Petrocelli was tapped to defend him against fraud lawsuits filed over Trump University real estate seminars.

Petrocelli has already reached out to victims’ lawyers, according to a letter obtained by Reuters, which was sent to prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump and Bob Hilliard of Corpus Christi-based Hilliard Martinez Gonzales. The two have filed lawsuits on behalf of a number of Astroworld victims and their families.

Scott offered to pay the funeral costs for a 9-year-old boy who died from injuries after the stampede, according to the letter. Hilliard declined the offer on behalf of his client.

According to news reports, Neal Manne, managing partner of Susman Godfrey, has been hired by Live Nation, the festival’s promoter, another defendant in many of the Astroworld lawsuits.

Manne did not respond to requests for comment.

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Chinekwu Osakwe covers legal industry news with a focus on midsize law firms. Reach her at Chinekwu.osakwe@thomsonreuters.com.

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