The family of a Boy Scout who was killed during a camping expedition in Georgia has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the scouting organization in an effort to boost safety standards.
Fourteen-year-old Elijah Knight of Cypress, Texas, died when a tree fell on his tent during a severe thunderstorm June 28 at the Bert Adams Scout Camp in Covington, Georgia.
His parents, Stephen and Courtney Knight, say the Boy Scouts of America failed to take proper measures to ensure the scouts’ safety. According to the lawsuit, which they filed Jan. 8 in a state court in Cobb County, Georgia, the Boy Scouts “ignored weather advisories issued by the National Weather Service, including a Severe Thunderstorm Warning which was in effect at the time of Elijah’s death.”
“Because the Boy Scouts did not evacuate all campers to a nearby building, Elijah Knight was left outdoors in a canvas tent during a hazardous storm with strong winds, lightning and hail,” the lawsuit alleges, according to KPRC Click2Houston.
The lawsuit points to other deadly accidents at the same scout camp as evidence the Boy Scouts isn’t doing enough to keep visitors safe, including the 2017 death of a Cobb County teen and the 1999 deaths of a Cobb County father and son.
“We believe the Boy Scouts do not have adequate policies in place to keep kids safe and that Elijah Knight’s tragic death could have been prevented by following simple weather-related procedures,” the lawsuit asserts.
“Having joined the horrible club of parents who have lost a child, and especially the community of parents whose child died in a scouting event, we hope to make systemic safety improvements that will preserve and protect the lives of many other children in the future,” Mr. Knight, an Eagle Scout, said, according to Click2Houston. “We hope to see a new level of safety standards, so no other family has to go through the same anguish.”
The lawsuit includes claims for vicarious liability, premises liability and negligence, and seeks damages for funeral expenses and pain and suffering as well as punitive damages.