A Florida judge on Thursday refused to dismiss a civil lawsuit brought by Gabby Petito’s family accusing Brian Laundrie’s parents of knowing their son had killed the Long Island woman.
Petito’s parents filed a lawsuit over statements by laundries attorney Steve Bertolino, issued five days before the 22-year-old’s strangled body was recovered in Wyoming, which said: “We hope the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family.”
However, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt claim this statement is false and accuse Christopher and Roberta Laundrie of knowing at the time that Brian had killed Gabby.
Judge Hunter W. Carroll sided with the Petitos by denying the laundries’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
“As alleged by the plaintiffs, the laundries gave their testimony knowing that Gabby was dead, the location of her body and that her parents were desperate to find her,” Carroll wrote in a judgment obtained by The Post. “If this is true, then the laundries’ testimony was particularly callous and cruel, and is outrageous enough to make claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
Gabby, 22, disappeared with Brian, her boyfriend, on an overland trip, sparking a nationwide search. After being named as the sole suspect in her disappearance, he too disappeared, only to commit suicide. His skeletal remains were found at Carlton Reserve in Florida on October 20.
Laundrie admitted killing Gabby in a notebook left in a Florida swamp where he killed himself. He insisted it was an act of “mercy,” Fox News reported last week.
“I ended her life,” Laundrie reportedly wrote in the note seized by the FBI in October. “I thought it was gracious that she wanted it, but now I see all the mistakes I made. I panicked. I was shocked.”
Laundrie claimed he killed Petito, to whom he was allegedly engaged, after she fell in the Wyoming wilderness.
The Laundries have denied having any prior knowledge of Petito’s death.
Petito’s father, Joseph, confirmed the legal victory in a tweet on Thursday while claiming the “truth” would be revealed.
Christopher and Roberta Laundrie have until July 15 to respond to Petito’s parents’ allegations of intentionally causing emotional distress, Carroll ruled.
https://nypost.com/2022/06/30/judge-denies-motion-by-brian-laundries-parents-to-toss-petito-lawsuit/ Judge denies Brian Laundrie’s parents’ motion to dismiss Petito’s lawsuit