Attorneys representing the plaintiffs of ongoing civil lawsuits over the 2021 Astroworld tragedy have filed an “emergency motion” requesting information from the phones of Travis Scott and his associates, which have yet to be produced for the court despite an outstanding order to do so. According to Scott’s lawyer, Steve Brody, though, no such information from Scott’s phone will be accessible because it “fell off a boat” in January 2022, and is currently sitting somewhere at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.
News of both the motion and Brody’s response came from a new Rolling Stone report quoting court transcripts. The emergency motion was filed shortly after the deposition of Cactus Jack’s general manager, David Stromberg, who disclosed that he also never turned his phone over to lawyers for imaging. In response, the plaintiffs’ attorneys asserted the importance of obtaining and analyzing the information from those devices, and cited the fact that their production was required by court order.
The information the plaintiffs’ legal teams are seeking include: “Documents and electronic devices such as phones and text messages from Scott, his entity XX Global Inc., and employees including Cactus Jack general manager David Stromberg.”
When pressured by Judge Kristen Hawkins as to why the contents on Scott’s phone weren’t imaged sooner, Brody acknowledged the delay, but offered no real explanation. “Now, looking back, yeah, in an ideal world his phone would have been imaged on November 6th or November 7th or November 8th,” he said, referring to the days immediately after the Astroworld tragedy, which left 10 dead. “In an ideal situation that would have happened. It did not. And that’s the situation we’re facing right now.”
Judge Hawkins also asked why there was seemingly no attempt made by Scott or his legal team to “recover text messages from alternate sources.” In response, Brody explained that Scott’s iPhone was not backed-up to iCloud, and that neither Apple nor the cell phone carrier could assist in recovering data from it.
Attempting to still be compliant, though, Brody did state that information from Stromberg’s phone would become available to the court by September 27th. According to Brody, the newly-obtained info would “show the vast majority, if not all, relevant texts with Mr. Scott related to this event.” Though it’s unclear if any data will be missing from Stromberg’s phone, Brody hopes that “Mr. Stromberg’s agreement is going to remedy the situation.”
Elsewhere in the newly-filed motion, the plaintiff’s attorneys describe how difficult Scott’s team has been throughout the duration of the trial. “As frustrating as the conduct of many of the defendants have been, they have at least produced some documents comprising text messages, photos, and videos retrieved from images of their clients’, employees’, and agents’ phones,” the attorneys wrote. “Travis Scott and his team stand apart as having not produced a single text, WeChat communication, video, or photo from their phones — not because they don’t exist — but because his attorneys chose not to image or search their phones the order to do so by the court.”
Scott sat for his first deposition earlier this week, prior to attorneys having the opportunity to evaluate any of the aforementioned data from Stromberg’s phone. In early October, though, Scott will sit down for two more days of deposition.