Victims of SXSW incident file lawsuit

Mikaela Cannizzo

Nearly two years after the South By Southwest incident, in which Rashad Owens killed four people and injured dozens while driving over the speed limit near the intersection of East 10th and Red River streets, two victims are now suing Owens, the city of Austin and SXSW.

The victims, Jacqueline Longhurst and Luis Suarez, filed the lawsuit in a Travis County district court and are seeking up to $1 million in damages.

According to the lawsuit, Longhurst and Suarez said they are suing because of negligent operation at the event including a lack of security, underdeveloped safety measures and understaffed maintenance of street closures. They are also suing Andrew Bramwell, the man responsible for providing the vehicle used by Owens in the crash.

This is the second time victims of the incident have sued organizers of the festival and the city. In December 2014, eight victims, including three families of victims who were killed, filed lawsuits against SXSW with claims of negligence.

Roland Swenson, co-founder and managing director of SXSW, wrote a letter to the city of Austin on Sept. 30, 2014 detailing their efforts to enhance safety during the event by working with Populous, an event-planning consultant. Swenson said this collaboration will serve to implement a comprehensive safety plan, organize the permit process and improve long-term planning techniques.