HOUSTON — An uncle and his nephew, who said they were injured while working security during the Astroworld Festival, have filed a lawsuit against the company that hired them, along with others.
Samuel and Jackson Bush, both of Houston, along with their attorney Larry Taylor of The Cochran Firm, held a news conference Monday in front of NRG Park, where the music festival took place.
Ten people, including a 9-year-old boy, died during and following the chaos as Travis Scott performed on stage at the festival on Friday, Nov. 5.
The lawsuit names New York-based AJ Melino & Associates, the global security company that hired both men, as defendants for “failing to provide a safe workplace and any basic training.”
Samuel and Jackson Bush said they weren't trained or prepared for the chaos that night.
"For the most part, they told us where to stand, not to let people run in, which we tried not to, and be safe. Don't put our hands on anybody," 25-year-old Jackson Bush said.
His uncle, 46-year-old Samuel Bush, agreed on the lack of training for the festival. He said the only advice he remembered receiving was to "stay safe and don't put your hands on no one [sic] at the time of the event when they actually brought us to the stage."
They said there were red flags from when they were first hired, but they had no idea it would turn out the way it did. They said they feel as if they were set up to fail.
"I feel like we were just thrown out there for whatever to happen. I feel like it was planned to go that way. For us not to be paid and handled professionally as we worked, yeah, I do feel like that," Jackson Bush said.
Jackson and Samuel Bush said they responded to a job ad that was posted on Instagram. They said they were hired the morning of the festival and there was no background check before they started work at 5:30 a.m.
"I've got my security license so I had interest in it, thinking I can get in pretty easily. But I didn't even need the credential of a security license," Jackson said.
They said they didn't have walkie-talkies or any other way to communicate with other members of the security team. They also said they weren't paid the $30 an hour they were promised when they took the job.
Their lawsuit also names Travis Scott, the Cactus Jack Foundation, Live Nation, NRG Energy and the Harris County Sports Authority as defendants among others.
Samuel Bush said he broke his right hand and injured his back as the crowd got out of control during the deadly crowd surge. He said he was physically overwhelmed by the crush of the crowd.
Jackson Bush said he suffered shoulder and back pain as well as emotional trauma as he watched CPR being performed on lifeless bodies and pulled a deceased concertgoer out of the crowd. He said he pulled 40 to 60 people out of a section before Scott was on stage.
"A lot of people were so into the concert, they didn't want to be helped, for the most part," Jackson said. "Even before the concert started, I helped a lot of people."
They say the lawsuit will also address how much they should've been paid for working at the festival. Jackson says the company that hired them didn't tell them about payment. Instead, he learned from other co-workers what they were supposed to earn. Their attorney says they just received a quarter of their expected pay last Friday.
"They were initially told that they were going to be paid $30 an hour," Taylor said. "Then it went from $30 an hour to not being paid at all to eventually, just mysteriously, being paid a little something on their CashApp."
This lawsuit is just the latest in a series of legal actions taken against organizers and anyone connected to the festival.
KHOU 11 News reached out to A.J. Melino & Associates and is still waiting to hear back.