Responding to Scott’s letter expressing remorse over Ezra’s death and an offer to cover the boy’s funeral expenses, the Blount family lawyer Bob Hilliard wrote: “Your client’s offer is declined. I have no doubt Mr Scott feels remorse. His journey ahead will be painful. He must face and hopefully see that he bears some of the responsibility for this tragedy.”
On 5 November, a massive crowd surge during Scott’s performance at the Houston-based Astroworld festival left 10 people dead, and many more injured. More than 50,000 people had gathered at the site of the former Houston Six Flags park, catching event organisers off-guard, and leaving emergency medical responders overwhelmed.
Scott’s lawyer Daniel Petrocelli sent the letter to Mr Hilliard and his co-counsel Ben Crump last Wednesday (24 November), a day after Ezra’s family laid him to rest, Rolling Stone reported.
“Travis is devastated by the tragedy that occurred at the Astroworld Festival and grieves for the families whose loved ones died or were injured,” Mr Petrocelli’s letter read. “Travis is committed to doing his part to help the families who have suffered and begin the long process of healing in the Houston community. Toward that end, Travis would like to pay for the funeral expenses for Mr Blount’s son.”
Mr Petrocelli has earlier represented Fred Goldman in the wrongful death trial that found OJ Simpson civilly liable for the deaths of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. The high-profile lawyer also represented former US president Donald Trump and his Trump University that ceased operations in 2010, after becoming embroiled in scandal.
The advocate claimed that the acceptance of his client’s offer would have no bearing on the lawsuit filed by Ezra’s father, Treston Blount, against Scott and others.
However, in their heartbreaking response, the Blount family said losing Ezra was like “a faucet of unimaginable pain that has no off handle.”
“To lose a child in the manner Treston lost Ezra compounds the pain,” Mr Billiard said, adding: “As a parent, Treston cannot help but agonise over the terrible idea that Ezra’s last minutes were filled with terror, suffering, suffocation and worst of all, surrounded by strangers, his dad unconscious underneath the uncontrolled crowd.”
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Ezra was on Mr Blount’s shoulder during the deadly concert, when he fell and got separated from his father. Mr Blount passed out from the crowd pressure and the family found Ezra at a nearby hospital.
Having suffered organ damage and brain swelling, Ezra remained in a medically-induced coma on life support, but succumbed to his injuries on 14 November.
Mr Hilliard said that Mr Crump had reached out to the Blount family to set up an in-person meeting between the rapper and Treston, but this request was refused as well. “This isn’t a photo-op story here. This is a ‘who’s responsible and why’ type of investigation. And he’s [Scott] on the short list,” Mr Hilliard said.
While Drake performed alongside the “Goosebumps” singer, Apple Music faces legal action over the implementation of its multi-million deal for exclusive streaming rights of the event, which allegedly compromised attendees’ safety.