The 2015 disappearance of two teens at sea took a new turn Friday when the family of one of the boys filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the other youth’s family.
The lawsuit filed by Perry Cohen’s family alleges negligence against the family of Austin Stephanos, said Guy Rubin, the attorney representing Perry’s mother, Pamela Cohen. The filing was made within days of the two-year anniversary of Austin and Perry’s disappearance.
According to Rubin, the allegations in the lawsuit include:
— The boat the two teens embarked on wasn’t properly equipped to go into the ocean.
— Austin’s parents knew the boys, both 14 at the time, were heading to the ocean.
— A lawsuit was Pamela Cohen’s only legal option after prosecutors declined to press charges.
Rubin discussed pursuing the civil case during a news conference outside the Palm Beach County Courthouse, but declined to answer reporters’ questions.
“This wasn’t a case of bad luck or simply bad weather,” said Rubin, reading from a statement. “Responsible parents would have never allowed 14-year-olds to go into the ocean on a small boat with no VHF radio, no tracking devices, no compass and no voyage plan.”