NV Couple Sues Boy Scouts Over Son’s UT Drowning

A Las Vegas couple has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America over the July 2011 drowning of their 12-year-old son during a camp program in northern Utah.

Christopher and Sherry Tuvell, in their suit filed this week in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, claim the Boy Scouts and other defendants were negligent in David Tuvell’s death during a scuba diving program at Bear Lake.

The boy vanished while he was diving with another Scout, a Scoutmaster and a diving instructor in about 15 feet of water in a roped-off area with a line on the bottom to guide divers back to shore.

He was found after a 30-minute search and rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The suit alleges the defendants failed to ensure the boy was properly equipped, dressed and weighted. It further contends that they provided defective equipment and did not manage, monitor or supervise the boy’s air supply.

When the emergency arose, the parties failed to aid and properly rescue Tuvell, the complaint adds.

As a result, the suit states, the boy experienced “great physical agony, pain and suffering in the knowledge of impending death, emotional distress … as well as the knowledge that he would never see his mother, father and brother again.”

Kay Godfrey, spokesman for the Great Salt Lake Council of Boy Scouts to which the Bear Lake camp belongs, declined to comment on the suit. He referred questions to the Boy Scouts’ headquarters in Dallas, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.

Also named as defendants were the Bear Lake camp, instructors Corbett Douglas and Lowell Huber, the Professional Association of Dive Instructors and Blue Water Scuba.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount in general, compensatory and punitive damages.