A legal team that includes prominent civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump said on Tuesday, Nov. 9, it has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a father whose 9-year-old son is in a medically induced coma after being trampled at the Astroworld festival in Houston, Texas.
The boy, identified in a statement by Crump only as “E.B.,” sustained life-threatening injuries at a weekend performance headlined by American hip-hop star Travis Scott that ended with eight people killed and dozens more injured in a stampede.
“This little boy is currently fighting for his life, and his parents will never know the same child they entered Astroworld with,” Crump said in a statement on Tuesday.
The lawsuit, which names Scott, Live Nation Entertainment, Scoremore Mgmt and Cactus Jack Records as defendants, alleged negligence in “a great number of aspects” including crowd control and failure to provide proper medical attention.
It also accused the defendants of failing to stop the hip-hop star’s performance “until over 40 minutes” after officials declared a mass casualty event had begun.
Nine-year-old Ezra Blount was on his father’s shoulder at the event before falling during the crush, according to NBC News.
Once the family was able to locate him at Texas Children’s Hospital, the boy was in a coma to fight the brain trauma.
“It’s just a lot of things that could have prevented it,” Taylor Blount, the 9-year-old’s aunt, told NBC’s “Today” show.
Houston’s police chief said he met briefly with Scott to voice his “public safety concerns” before the rapper took the stage. The deadly crowd surge has led to a flurry of lawsuits on behalf of concert-goers, while police are pursuing a criminal probe of the tragedy.
The eight fans who lost their lives ranged in age from 14 to 27 and included a high school baseball player, a high school band member who loved to dance and several college students from across the country.
The victims were crushed in a surge of fans near the stage at NRG Park in Texas at around 9:30 p.m., with some unable to breathe and others trampled underfoot. Hundreds of others in the crowd of 50,000 were injured throughout the day.
Fans described a chaotic scene after a steady escalation of disruptive behavior over several hours.
Scott, who said he was “devastated” by the events, announced on Monday, Nov. 8, that he would cover all funeral costs and offer aid to those affected. He is also working with law enforcement and city officials to “respectfully and appropriately connect” with victims and their families, according to a statement.
Canadian rapper Drake, who made an appearance at Astroworld with Scott, said in an Instagram statement on Monday night his heart was “broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering.”
Live Nation also issued a statement on Monday saying the company “would address all legal matters at the appropriate time.” Scott’s representatives declined comment on civil suits filed. DC
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