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Boy Scouts of America Violation of Policy Leads to Untimely Death of Teen

Photo of Brant Stogner

A family has recently filed a lawsuit against Boy Scouts of America, alleging negligence on behalf of the organization for the death of their teenage son. Last June, Reid Comita enrolled in a backpacking course in order to fulfill his final requirement to accomplish Eagle Scout. According to his father, his family specifically signed Reid up for the introductory backpacking class because their son was not very athletic and because that specific course requires that at least two adults accompany the hiking troop. Accordingly, the Comitas felt the introductory course was the safest option for their son.

However, on June 12, 2017, Reid and his fellow scouts set out to hike the Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch, located in west Texas in Jeff Davis County. In direct violation of the Scout's own policy, Reid's troop was not under the supervision of adults, but rather two teenagers. With temperatures were in the upper 90s with a heat index well over 100 degrees, Reid succumbed to the scorching Texas heat when he collapsed and suffered a heat stroke, which led to his unfortunate and untimely death.

Authorities said it took several hours to reach Reid and the troop because the Boy Scouts had been on the hike for hour and they could not be reached by ambulance or trucks. Following Reid's collapse, the Comita family was not notified of the severity of the situation for more than four hours after he was already pronounced dead. Despite the fact that the Comitas were calling for updates, no one at Boy Scout of America would give them a straight answer as to the health status of their son.

The lawsuit outlines a series of allegations against Boy Scouts of America, namely, that Reid was sent on an extremely aggressive hike in temperatures around 100 degrees with a heat index well over 100 degrees, and that Reid did not receive proper training at the camp prior to being sent out on the advanced hike. Photos of the trail alone indicate that this trek was a more advanced feat than Reid was ready to pursue, especially without experienced, adult supervisors.

While the backpacking course would have been Reid's final task to accomplish Eagle Scout, his troop has since awarded him the honor posthumously. Unfortunately, this tragic event is something that could have been avoided had Boy Scouts of America provided proper training and supervision.

If you or a loved one has been has fallen victim to injury or death due to someone else's negligence in which procedural safeguards and safety precautions were in place and not followed, you may have a potential claim for damages. The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz is the oldest personal injury firm in Texas, and our experienced attorneys are standing by to assist with your claim. Call us today at 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584 for your free consultation.

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