Nine-year-old Ezra Blount died in the hospital after sustaining injuries at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival. Scott offered the family money to cover the costs of Blount’s funeral, stating it would have no effect on any pending lawsuits. The family, however, rejected the offer, sending an email through their attorney, Bob Hillard.
“The loss of a child is like a faucet of unimaginable pain that has no off-handle,” 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.”
More families have begun to reject Scott’s offer of covering funeral costs as well, Rolling Stone reports, with the attorneys for the families of friends Jacob Jurinek and Franco Patino, Axel Acosta, John Hilgert joining the movement.
Lawyer for the Hilgert family, Richard Mithoff, said, “It was not an offer [the Hilgerts] were going to seriously consider. Of all the things this case is about, that’s the least of any concern. This family is set on making change and ensuring this never happens at a concert again. I find offering to pay for funerals frankly demeaning and really inappropriate to the magnitude of the tragedy that unfolded.”
Philip Corboy, the attorney for Jurinek and Patino families, says the offers feel like an attempt to silence “public outcry” over the way Astroworld was handled and the damage that ensued.
“If he’s trying to impress upon the families that he’s sincere and has concern for them and realize that funerals can be expensive, what Scott’s team did is not the way to do it,” said Corby. “You don’t get a piece of paper in the mail from a lawyer in Beverly Hills who says he represents Travis Scott. These families are raw right now; that lacks any personal touch.”
The Acosta’s family lawyer Tony Buzbee simply said, “It’s bullsh-it.
He added, “If you gave a shit about these families, you wouldn’t have to put out a press release for everyone to see saying he’s willing to pay for a funeral.”
The deaths of these victims, all 21 years old except for Hilgert, who was only 14, took place in Houston during Travis Scott’s performance in early November when the crowd surged. The crush of people was poorly managed, and the show was not stopped in time to save the lives of ten people, despite video showing people begging for help and ambulances entering the arena. Blount was the youngest victim of the event.