Texas Circuit Court of Appeals Refuses to Overturn Gag Order Related to Astroworld Litigation

Photo credit: Live Nation

A Texas appeals court has officially refused to overturn a silence warrant covering hundreds of lawsuits against Live Nation over the Astroworld tragedy.

A three-judge panel recently declined to challenge the seemingly sweeping gag order that Judge Kristen Hawkins implemented back in February 2022. After a motion to review that order in court failed, ABC News filed an appeal with a petition in July last year Mandamus script.

In it, ABC News alleged that the so-called “publicity order” “barred attorneys and others involved in the Astroworld litigation from speaking publicly on a wide range of issues.” The outlet and its legal team also claimed that the “broad restrictions on speech” were put in place “without making specific determinations required by the Texas and US Constitutions” and that they “restricted the right to collect news.” and to receive information.”

“Not only does the gag order violate clear constitutional principles, but it has restricted the flow of accurate, timely information not only about the Astroworld litigation but also about the Astroworld Festival,” the ABC News attorneys wrote. “Since the Court issued the Gag Order, individuals with even a remote connection to the Astroworld Festival have been silenced for fear of violating its broad and vague provisions.”

Irrespective of these and related arguments against the order, the judgment of the Court of Appeal mentioned above seems to be suitable for maintaining the measure – and the associated lack of media commentary – for the foreseeable future.

“We oppose the petition,” the panel (consisting of Justices Goodman, Landau and Rivas-Molloy) wrote in a memorandum with few details. Although the expert opinion does not appear to spell out the exact reasons for the rejection, legal media have indicated that ABC News may appeal the verdict to the Texas Supreme Court.

At the time of writing, ABC News and its attorneys do not appear to have commented publicly on the development, which came about 19 months after a crowd at Travis Scott’s Astroworld in Houston left 10 dead and a significant number injured.

Though Scott experienced setbacks in his career — including sponsorship and performing breaks — following the fatal incident, it wasn’t long before the artist was back headlining festivals and appearing at media events.

Additionally, in late 2022, Ticketmaster owner Live Nation (which is certainly no stranger to litigation) quietly began settling some of the resulting lawsuits — including one brought by the family of a 16-year-old who died in the tragedy came.