HO&P files wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Texas teen who died on Boy Scouts hiking trip

by Jim Orr

The law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of a Fort Worth teenager who died from heatstroke in June while hiking as part of a Boy Scouts summer camp.  The lawsuit alleges that the Boy Scouts of America were negligent for failing to provide adequate supervision during the hike and for allowing their son to go hiking during extreme temperature conditions.

Reid Comita died in June 2017 during a hiking trip at Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch in West Texas. According to the lawsuit filed by his parents, Reid was signed up for an introductory Boy Scout backpacking class in order to complete his final camping merit badge to receive Eagle Scout certification. The class was supposed to involve two days of training and orientation and then a 3-day beginner’s hike under adult supervision. Instead, the Comitas lawsuit alleges Reid was sent on an “extremely aggressive hike” that covered many miles at high elevation on a day in which temperatures hovered near 100 degrees.  During the hike, Reid was accompanied only by two fellow Boy Scouts – one 17 and the other 14 years old – meaning that there were no adults present on the hike. Boy Scout safety regulations require at least two adult supervisors to be present.

During the hike, Reid collapsed due to heatstroke. Because the hikers were several miles along the trail in the Davis Mountains, it took emergency responders several hours to reach the boy’s location, which was inaccessible by ambulance or truck.  Once the first responders reached Reid, they performed CPR, but were unable to resuscitate the teen.

The El Paso County medical examiner’s office later ruled that Reid Comita died of heatstroke. According to the lawsuit filed against the Boy Scouts of America, It took more than four hours after Reid Comita’s death for his parents to be notified by authorities.

Reid Comita’s father, John – himself a former Boy Scout – says that the Boy Scouts of America violated several of its own policies by allowing his son to go on the fatal hike. In addition to allowing Reid to embark on an advanced hike without their permission, the Boy Scouts violated numerous of their “Sweet Sixteen of BSA Safety.” According to Reid’s father, the hike should never have proceeded given the weather conditions and his son’s inexperience with hiking.  Reid’s father also says that the hike never should have taken place without the BSA required two-deep adult supervision, especially given that the hike took the boys to an area where first responders would not be able to reach the boys in time should someone suffer heat related illness.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson

If a member of your family or another loved one has been the victim of wrongful death due to the negligence of others, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit in order to hold those responsible accountable.  The first step in taking legal action is to talk with an attorney with experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases to advise you of your legal rights and guide you through the process of filing a case.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have tried hundreds of cases to verdict on behalf of our clients and have settled hundreds more. Our lawyers have achieved verdicts and settlements totaling more than $200 million on behalf of our clients. Unlike many law firms that settle cases to avoid taking them to trial, our firm has tried numerous personal injury cases to a jury verdict.

The attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson are dedicated to the belief that all should have the right to experienced and qualified legal counsel to ensure that their interests are represented.  At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we are committed to achieving justice on behalf of our clients, whatever the cost.

For more information about filing a wrongful death lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson to receive your free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions about your case to get started.

by Jim Orr

Jim Orr is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P focusing on business and personal injury litigation. Jim was selected multiple times to the Super Lawyers List and has tried 70+ cases to verdict.