The family of a 13-year-old boy who was injured in the left eye by a catapulted potato during an overnight troop camping outing in Santa Clarita in 2017 agreed to settle a lawsuit brought on the boy’s behalf against the Boy Scouts of America for $90,000.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Laura Seigle is scheduled to decide Friday whether to approve the settlement, which will leave the Valencia boy with about $59,300 after his medical expenses, attorneys’ fees and other costs are paid.
During a Sept. 20 hearing, the judge asked for some additional documentation from the plaintiff. She also said the money the boy will receive must be placed in a blocked account and that all withdrawals will need court approval.
According to the suit filed May 30, Boy Scout Troop 499, operated by the Western Los Angeles County Council and sponsored by the Greater Santa Clarita Optimist Club, had an overnight camping event, dubbed the Troop 499 Zombie Overnighter, at Hart Park in Santa Clarita on Nov. 4. 2017.
Several activities were planned for the scouts and for the Cub Scout Webelos who were invited to attend and all of the events were under the guidance of a scoutmaster, who was in charge of the troop’s activities and the safety of the scouts, according to the lawsuit.
One activity planned for the overnighter was the catapulting of potatoes using a makeshift slingshot, according to the suit.
The troop’s scoutmaster, who was in charge of coordinating the event and was responsible for making sure it was conducted safely, failed to take reasonable steps to protect the scouts, such as obtaining protective eyewear and the plaintiff was struck by a potato in the left eye as a result, the suit alleged.
The suit alleged “the plaintiff suffered, and continues to suffer from, physical and emotional injuries, including disfigurement.”