Gabby Petito’s mother files wrongful death lawsuit against Brian Laundrie estate

The new suit seeks damages for suffering ‘a loss of probable future companionship, society and comfort’

Bevan Hurley
Sunday 08 May 2022 19:50
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Gabby Petito’s mother has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Brian Laundrie’s estate seeking $30,000 in damages.

Nichole Schmidt states in the suit that Laundrie intentionally killed her 22-year-old daughter, causing her and her ex-husband Joseph Petito to incur funeral and burial expenses, and suffer “a loss of probable future companionship, society and comfort”.

Ms Schmidt is seeking a trial by jury and a judgment for compensatory damages in the suit, Fox News reported.

The legal complaint is the latest in a series of legal steps that Ms Petito’s family has taken against their daughter’s killer, and his parents Chris and Roberta Laundrie.

In March, they filed a civil lawsuit claiming the the Laundries knew their son had killed their daughter, an aspiring vlogger, before she had been reported missing.

In the suit, Ms Petito’s parents also accuse Chris and Roberta Laundrie of planning to help Brian leave the country.

In an amendment filed in April, the Petito family alleged that, not only did the Laundries know their 23-year-old son had murdered his girlfriend, but they knew the location of her remains.

In a statement to Fox News about the latest suit, Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino said the filing of the wrongful death claim was “fully expected”.

“This lawsuit will most likely not be defended and the Petitos will have gained nothing more than a piece of paper that tells them what everyone already knows—which is that Brian was responsible for Gabby’s death as indicated by the FBI,” he said.

Brian Laundrie was found to have killed Ms Petito in an FBI investigation

Attorney Barry Spivey, the curator of Laundrie’s estate, told Fox News he had “absolutely no responsibility” to respond to the suit.

Ms Petito and Laundrie set off in their campervan on a cross-country trip in July 2021 and had been documenting their travels on YouTube.

On 1 September, Laundrie returned to his parents’ home alone.

Ms Petito’s parents reported her missing on 11 September after they couldn’t get in contact with her and Laundrie was refusing to say where she was.

Laundrie went on the run days later with his family telling police he was heading into the nature reserve close to their home.

On 19 September, Ms Petito’s remains were found in a Wyoming national park with her autopsy confirming that she had been strangled to death.

Weeks later on 20 October, Laundrie’s remains were found inside the Florida reserve.

He died by suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

In a notebook found with his remains, he confessed to murdering his girlfriend.

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