Missing teens: FDLE revelations could trigger lawsuit
Bill DiPaolo - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
JUPITER - The mother of one of two Tequesta teens lost at sea in 2015 is considering a lawsuit and fighting a court action she says would limit her ability to sue the other teen’s family, her attorney told The Palm Beach Post on Monday.
Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, were last seen sailing through the Jupiter Inlet on July 24, 2015. State reports made public last week found that a storm on the Atlantic forced their boat to sink and that an “egregious lapse in judgment and failure to exercise due care” let them head out into the Atlantic in those conditions.
The families have been adversaries in a lawsuit since December over a maritime law called the Limitation Act. The act limits the amount boat passengers can sue to the value of a damaged boat after it is salvaged.
The $500 is the salvage value of the empty 19-foot boat used by the boys after it was recovered on March, 2016 off the coast of Bermuda by the Edda Fjord, a 322-foot Norwegian transport vessel.
“It is irrefutable that both Austin’s parents knew that Perry was not supposed to go out of the inlet unsupervised,” said Guy Rubin, the attorney representing Pamela Cohen, Perry’s mother.