Legal battles between the families of two Florida teens missing at sea, who disappeared nearly two years ago, continue with a wrongful death lawsuit announced Friday at the Palm Beach County Courthouse.
“This lawsuit is about truth, accountability and justice,” attorney Guy Rubin wrote in a prepared statement delivered on behalf of Pamela Cohen, mother of Perry Cohen, who vanished into the waters off Jupiter Inlet with friend Austin Stephanos during a fishing excursion on July 24, 2015. Monday marks two years since the 14-year-old boys’ disappearance and presumed deaths that made headlines worldwide.
The suit also names co-plaintiff John Eric Romano, personal representative of Perry’s estate. Defendants are Austin’s parents, Carly Black and Blu Stephanos, and grandfather, Richard Kuntz. Counts include negligent entrustment, breach of custodian and parental trust, negligent supervision and negligent undertaking of search.
It comes on the heels of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation that found Carly Black, Austin’s mother, showed an “egregious lack of judgement and failure to execute due care” when she allowed the boys to go offshore for a fishing excursion in a “minimally equipped” 19-foot 1978 SeaCraft knowing that the boat lacked basic safety and communications devices.