Family sues Atlanta Boy Scouts after son killed by tree while camping

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A Texas family is suing the the group that oversees Boy Scouts programs in metro Atlanta claiming negligence led to their 14-year-old son’s June death.

The parents of Elijah Knight filed the wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday in State Court in Cobb County where the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America has its headquarters.

Knight was crushed by a tree that fell on his tent during a thunderstorm on June 25 at Bert Adams Scout Camp. Knight and about 100 Boy Scouts from his Texas troop were camping at the 1,300-acre Covington camp, which is run by the Council.Representatives at the Council were not immediately available for comment Tuesday.


The lawsuit claims the adults on the trip did not follow the group’s own bylaws about seeking shelter during inclement weather.

According to the suit, the National Weather Service warned that the area could be in for 60-mph winds and quarter-sized hail about a half hour before Knight died.“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,” Stephen Knight, Elijah’s father, said in a news release from the attorneys representing the family.

The Knight family’s lawsuit asks for a jury trial and damages to be paid but doesn’t request a specific amount.

In a statement from the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, they said:

“This is a very difficult time for our Scouting family. We offer our deepest condolences to the victim and his family, and we will support them in any way we can.
“The safety of our Scouts is our number one priority. Please join us in keeping those affected by the tragic accident during last summer’s severe storms in our thoughts and prayers.”