HOUSTON - If you attended the tragic Astroworld concert, you may wonder whether you should accept a ticket refund. Questions have come up about whether it could jeopardize an attendee's right to sue for damages.
Performer Travis Scott has offered to refund tickets, pay for funerals of victims, and for mental health counseling for those affected by the tragedy. But legal experts are cautioning attendees before accepting ticket refunds.
"Completely not able to fend for themselves and be at the mercy of piles of bodies. It was pretty traumatizing to witness," said lawsuit plaintiff Rainier Villaverde recalling his concert experience.
It's the trauma attendees' description as to why many legal experts are warning Astroworld ticket holders to read the fine print before accepting any refund.
Attorney Rick Ramos, who has filed a lawsuit against Scott and concert organizers, says, "if you accept the refund and you have not yet filed a lawsuit, what you may be doing is releasing the wrongdoer from any future lawsuit or action or claim against them."
FOX 26 legal analyst Chris Tritico agrees.
"If you suffered actual damages, you were injured in the stampede, then it’s probably better to just not take the refund because you don’t want to take the risk of giving up actual damages," said Tritico.
Ramos says if Scott faces charges for encouraging the stampede, as he has for past concerts, that could mean more attendees have claims for emotional distress.
"You don’t need injuries for an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim. So now you have a brand new grouping of plaintiffs who are victims that have been impacted now by taking a refund," said Ramos.
But some legal experts say that does not include negligence or gross negligence, which is what some attorneys are alleging.
A psychologist working with plaintiffs' attorneys notes that emotional distress from a traumatic experience may not surface until later.
"Young people have experienced such horror at this concert that I cannot think of a time in my 40-year career, that there’s been a worse disaster in Houston," said Dr. Kit Harrisson, a forensic psychologist.
Live Nation has not responded to questions about refunds.