A Florida choose will determine Wednesday whether or not Petito’s parents have sufficient proof to pursue authorized motion and ship the case to a jury.
“The Laundries should be responsible for their conduct and what they did after they knew that Gabby was dead and where her body was located,” stated Patrick Reilly, the Petito family legal professional.
Investigators with the FBI say final summer time, Laundrie strangled Petito to demise in Wyoming and returned residence to Florida with out her.
SEE ALSO: Lawsuit claims Brian Laundrie’s parents knew ‘whereabouts’ of Gabby Petito’s physique whereas on trip
Her disappearance sparked a nationwide search, however Laundrie and his family refused to converse with regulation enforcement or Petito’s parents earlier than Laundrie himself disappeared.
Authorities later discovered his physique in a close-by swamp subsequent to a handwritten confession be aware, and an post-mortem report later decided that Laundrie died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Petito family is now accusing parents Christopher and Roberta Laundrie of “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” The swimsuit alleges the couple knew their daughter was murdered however stated nothing, as an alternative calling a lawyer and slicing off communication with Gabby’s mom, Nichole Schmidt.
“They refused to return calls, and then they blocked her on her cell phone and blocked her on Facebook,” Reilly stated.
Neither Christopher and Roberta Laundrie commented publicly after Gabby’s disappearance.
Nonetheless, they’re searching for to dismiss the case, with their lawyer calling the Petito family lawsuit “baseless.”
“The law does not require an individual to speak to a third party under any circumstances,” the Laundries’ lawyer Steven Bertolino stated.
He wouldn’t affirm whether or not the Laundries knew what occurred to Gabby earlier than her physique was discovered however stated he suggested Christopher and Roberta not to converse with anybody, together with Petito’s family
“You have the right to remain silent,” Bertolino stated. “You have the right to allow your lawyer to speak for you. And you should not be liable to any third party, whether it’s the family of the victim or whether it’s a victim.”
ABC Information Chief Authorized Analyst Dan Abrams stated Petito’s family faces an uphill authorized battle.
“The lawyer for the Laundries makes a fair point … As a legal matter, you don’t legally provide information to help in an investigation. To sue over that is very unusual, very hard to win,” Abrams stated. “The lawsuit is pretty broad and pretty vague, which is why today’s hearing becomes so essential if enough here as a legal matter to send this to a jury.”
In December, Schmidt spoke to ABC Information about turning her daughter’s demise right into a mission to battle home violence and discover lacking folks.
“I don’t want to see this happen to another person. Just awareness alone is giving people the strength,” she stated.