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Astroworld wrongful death lawsuit settled

HOUSTON (AP) — The one remaining wrongful death lawsuit filed after 10 people were killed during a deadly crowd crush at the 2021 Astroworld music festival has been settled, an attorney said Thursday.

Jury selection in the lawsuit filed by the family of 9-year-old Ezra Blount, the youngest person killed during the concert by rapper Travis Scott, had been set to begin September 10.

But S Scott West, an attorney for Blount’s family, said a settlement was reached this week.

Blount’s family had sued Scott, Live Nation — the festival’s promoter and the world’s largest live entertainment company — and other companies and individuals connected to the event, including Apple Inc, which livestreamed the concert.

“The family will continue its journey to heal, but never forget the joy that Ezra brought to everyone around him,” West said in an email.

Treston Blount, Ezra’s father, had said that during the November 5, 2021, concert, his son was sitting on his shoulders when they were crushed by the crowd. Treston Blount lost consciousness and when he came to, Ezra was missing.

A frantic search ensued until Ezra was eventually found at a Houston hospital, severely injured. The boy, who was from Dallas, died several days later.

The lawsuit filed by Blount’s family was one of 10 wrongful death civil suits filed after the deadly concert.

Earlier this month, lawyers had announced that the other nine wrongful death lawsuits had been settled in connection with the concert.

Terms of the settlements in all 10 lawsuits were confidential.

The settlement of the lawsuit filed by Blount’s family was first reported by the Houston Chronicle.

Attorneys for Live Nation, Scott and others have declined to comment in the case because of a gag order that limits what they can say outside court.

About 2,400 injury cases filed after the deadly concert remain pending. More than 4,000 plaintiffs filed hundreds of lawsuits after the Astroworld crowd crush.

During the crowd crush, attendees were packed so tightly that many could not breathe or move their arms. Those killed ranged in age from 9 to 27. They died from compression asphyxia, which an expert likened to being crushed by a car.

Earlier this month, state District Judge Kristen Hawkins, who is presiding over the litigation, had scheduled the first trial related to the injury cases for October 15. That trial was set to focus on seven injury cases. It was not clear on Thursday if that trial date would remain or be moved up with the settlement in the Blount lawsuit.

So far, no lawsuit has gone before a jury. One wrongful death lawsuit — filed by the family of 23-year-old Houston resident Madison Dubiski — was days away from going to trial earlier this month before it was delayed and then settled.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the lawsuits have alleged in court filings that the deaths and hundreds of injuries at the concert were caused by negligent planning and a lack of concern over capacity and safety at the event.

Scott, Live Nation and the others who’ve been sued have denied these claims, saying safety was their No 1 concern. They said what happened could not have been foreseen.

After a police investigation, a grand jury last year declined to indict Scott, along with five others connected to the festival.

FILE – Travis Scott performs at Day 1 of the Astroworld music festival at NRG Park, Nov. 5, 2021, in Houston. PHOTO: AP