Several families of the 10 people who died from severe injuries sustained in a massive crowd surge at the Astroworld festival in Houston on Nov. 5 have turned down an offer by headliner Travis Scott to pay for their loved ones’ funeral costs. According to an Associated Press news report, attorneys for the victims’ families said they got a letter from the rapper’s attorney in which the offer to pay for funerals was made.
Lives Changed Forever
In a letter sent to the family of 9-year-old Ezra Blount, the youngest victim in this tragedy, Scott extended his “deepest sympathies and condolences” to the boy’s father. Ezra was one of 10 people killed at the sold-out festival attended by 500,000 people. Others who died ranged in age from 14 to 27.
Nearly 300 people were treated at the festival site for injuries suffered in the surge and 13 were hospitalized. The rapper’s attorney said he is “committed to doing his part to help the families who have suffered and begin the long process of healing in the Houston community.” An attorney for the Blounts declined Scott’s offer saying that the rapper must bear some of the responsibility for this tragedy.
Among other families that declined Scott’s offer to bear funeral expenses include those of 27-year-old Mirza Baig, 14-year-old John Hilgert, 23-year-old Rodolfo Pena, and 21-year-old Axel Acosta Avila. Scott and the event’s organizers are the focus of a criminal investigation by Houston police. So far, no timetable has been set for when the investigation would be completed.
There have been several reports that have pointed out a number of issues that suggest the organizers of this mega event may have been negligent when it came to crowd safety measures. Accounts from those who were there as well as from victims who suffered serious injuries show that the organizers and entertainers, including Scott, pressed on with the program even as ambulances and police officers were trying to get the victims medical help.
This is a case where “thoughts and prayers” simply will not suffice. The organizers of this event should be held accountable for their negligence. The seriously injured victims and families of deceased victims, who have suffered an irreparable loss, must be fairly compensated. Events promoter Live Nation should be held accountable as well. As personal injury lawyers, our hope is that the legal action, in this case, results in all concerts and public events being made safer so this type of horrific tragedy never occurs again.