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Family of Perry Cohen files lawsuit

Family of Perry Cohen files lawsuit”

The disappearance of two Tequesta teenagers at sea almost two years ago has taken a turn as the family of one of the boys filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

"Perry's family can not just move on, put this behind them or let it go", Cohen's attorney, Guy Rubin, said.

Legal battles between the families of two Florida teens missing at sea, who disappeared almost two years ago, continue with a wrongful death lawsuit announced Friday at the Palm Beach County Courthouse. In April 2016, Cohen filed suit against Black, ex-husband Blu Stephanos and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to ensure a thorough forensics examination of the recovered boat and preservation of potential evidence contained in Austin's iPhone.

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. She alerted other family members and friends before contacting Perry's parents, who called 911.

Rubin also blamed Stephanos for refusing to provide complete cellphone records to investigators, forcing them to obtain subpoenas, and chastised Black for suing Pamela Cohen in federal court, "an aggressive and hostile act against the person whose trust was betrayed".

A June report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded that Black showed an "egregious lack of judgment and failure to execute due care" that contributed to the boys' disappearance.

Cohen's lawsuit targets Black for allowing the boys to go fishing offshore despite knowing that Perry was "expressly prohibited" from doing so.

The Black and Stephanos families did not respond to PEOPLE's requests for statements.

Rubin discussed the civil case at a news conference, but would not answer questions.

Kuntz, Austin's grandfather, is named as a defendant because he knew the boys were going fishing offshore and supplied them money to fuel the boat. Pamela Cohen said goodbye to her son and gave him a kiss and a tight hug and "never imagined she would never see him again", Rubin said.

Investigators said Black allowed the teens to "go offshore into the Atlantic Ocean, an inherently unsafe environment, in a minimally equipped 19-foot boat with a single outboard motor without adult or parental supervision", and without a radio or an emergency beacon that could have been used to locate them.



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