Gabby Petito’s Family Can Sue Brian Laundrie’s Dad and mom, Judge Rules

A Florida decide dominated Thursday that the household of Gabby Petito could proceed with a civil lawsuit towards Brian Laundrie’s dad and mom, whom they are saying prompted them emotional misery by hiding that their son had killed their daughter final 12 months on a van journey throughout America.

Judge Hunter Carroll of the twelfth Circuit Courtroom of Florida dominated on the matter after Chris and Roberta Laundrie, Brian’s dad and mom, requested that the lawsuit searching for damages of at the least $100,000 be thrown out, saying that they had no obligation to talk to regulation enforcement or the Petito household about what occurred.

Although that could be true, Carroll dominated, the Petito household should search damages over the feedback the household did make.

“If the facts of this case were truly about silence with no affirmative action by the Laundries, the court would have resolved this case in the Laundries’ favor on the concept of legal duty, or more precisely, the lack of legal duty for the Laundries to act,” Carroll wrote in his resolution. “Had the Laundries truly stayed silent, the court would have granted the motion to dismiss in the Laundries’ favor. But they did not stay silent.”

Gabby Petito was discovered strangled to dying in Grand Te ton Nationwide Park final 12 months. Her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, was discovered useless after he returned alone to North Port, Florida.

NurPhoto by way of Getty Pictures

He emphasised an announcement the Laundries launched on Sept. 14, 2021 ― greater than two weeks after Gabby was strangled to dying and days earlier than authorities discovered her physique in Wyoming’s Grand Teton Nationwide Park. The Petitos allege of their lawsuit that Brian Laundrie, who killed himself after he returned to Florida, had already told his parents about killing Petito on the time they launched the remarks.

The assertion learn: “It is our understanding that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. On behalf of the Laundrie family, it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family.”

If the Laundries did in reality know on the time that their son had killed the Petitos’ daughter, Carroll wrote, “then the Laundries’ statement was particularly callous and cruel, and it is sufficiently outrageous to state claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

The Laundrie household’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino, mentioned in an announcement that his shoppers “are disappointed with Judge Carroll’s decision to deny the motion and allow this lawsuit to proceed.”

Patrick Reilly, a lawyer for the Petito household, mentioned his shoppers are “appreciative of the thorough and well-reasoned decision” by Carroll and are hopeful a trial will uncover “any correspondence, emails and texts exchanged during the difficult period when Gabby’s whereabouts were unknown.”

A tearful Nichole Schmidt, the mother of Gabby Petito, is comforted by her husband, Jim Schmidt, during a news conference last year.
A tearful Nichole Schmidt, the mom of Gabby Petito, is comforted by her husband, Jim Schmidt, throughout a information convention final 12 months.

Carroll’s ruling comes per week after the Laundrie household’s lawyer launched a duplicate of the handwritten pages from a notebook during which their 23-year-old son confessed to killing Petito, his 22-year-old fiancée with whom he was on an prolonged, multi-state street journey final summer season, which they have been documenting on social media. He claimed within the pocket book that she had sustained accidents whereas they have been within the wilderness and that he “thought it was merciful” to finish her life.

After the occasions described within the pocket book, Laundrie returned house to Florida alone and spent a number of days together with his household earlier than embarking on a hike in a close-by wilderness space and taking his personal life with a gun. Authorities discovered his physique in October.

Investigators haven’t launched any findings displaying that Petito suffered from any critical accidents except for strangulation. Her household mentioned final week that the claims within the pocket book are “nonsense.”


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