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March 22, 2019

Family of 14-year-old boy killed by falling tree files wrongful-death lawsuit against Boy Scouts

January 9, 2019
Elijah Knight was crushed by a tree that fell on his tent while Boy Scouts camping during a thunderstorm on June 25 at Bert Adams Scout Camp in Covington. (Handout)

The family of a 14-year-old boy crushed by a falling tree last June while on a Boy Scout camping trip has filed a wrongful-death suit against the organization.

The 27-page lawsuit, filed against the Boy Scouts of America and the Greater Atlanta Council of Boy Scouts in Cobb County State Court Tuesday, alleges that the trip’s supervisors did not follow Scout regulations when the area they were camping in was hit with severe weather.

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The parents of Elijah Knight said they should have moved the campers into a building that was nearby, rather than leave him and other boys in a canvas tent buffeted by strong winds and hail, according to Law.com’s Daily Report. The supervising adults also ignored National Weather Service warnings that such weather was imminent, they said.

Elijah was attending a week-long jamboree with about 100 Boy Scouts from his Texas troop when he was killed, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The incident happened at around 4 p.m. last June 25 at the Bert Adams Scout Camp, under the jurisdiction of the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He and several other boys were inside their tent when a tree came crashing down onto Elijah, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He died of blunt force trauma to his head and chest, the newspaper said.

“This is a very difficult time for our Scouting family,” the Atlanta Council told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution “We offer our deepest condolences to the victim and his family, and we will support them in any way we can.”

“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,” countered Knight family attorney Jeff Harris in a statement quoted by the Daily Report.

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