After initially filing suit against the parents of Brian Laundrie, alleging they had knowledge of their son’s responsibility in killing their daughter Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt have amended the suit painting a far worse image of the Laundrie family.
The new court filing submitted Thursday in the Twelfth Circuit Court located in Sarasota County, FL amends the original complaint filed on March 10, 2022. In that complaint, attorney Patrick J. Reilly in representing Gabby’s parents wrote, “While Gabrielle Petito’s family was suffering, the Laundrie family,” including Brian’s parents Christopher and Roberta, “went on vacation to Fort DeSoto Park on September 6-7, 2021.”
The amended complaint reported by Fox News now alleges of that trip, “They went on vacation knowing that Brian Laundrie had murdered Gabrielle Petito, it is believed that they knew where her body was located and further knew that Gabrielle Petito’s parents were attempting to locate her.”
— FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) January 21, 2022
As it pertains to the knowledge of Gabby’s death at the hands of Brian Laundrie, as admitted in a confession located at the site of his own body after committing suicide in January, “It is believed, and therefore averred that on or about August 28, 2021, Brian Laundrie advised his parents, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie, that he had murdered Gabrielle Petito. On that same date, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie spoke with Attorney Steve Bertolino, and sent him a retainer on September 2, 2021.”
The suit charges Christopher and Roberta of causing Gabby’s parents “to suffer pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life experienced in the past and to be experienced in the future.” As such, they ask the court to award “just compensation for the damages…suffered, together with costs, and such other relief as this Honorable Court deems just and appropriate.”
According to reports, $100,000 is the amount sought after by Gabby’s parents as “just compensation” for the suffering caused as a result of the murder of their daughter by her fiancé while they were on a cross-country trip.
Steven Bertolino, the attorney for the Laundries who was noted as being put on retainer on September 2, 2021, responded to the suit telling Fox 13, “As I have maintained over the last several months, the Laundries have not publicly commented at my direction which is their right under the law. Assuming everything the Petitos allege in their lawsuit is true, which we deny, this lawsuit does not change the fact that the Laundries had no obligation to speak to Law Enforcement or any third-party including the Petito family. This fundamental legal principle renders the Petito’s claims to be baseless under the law.”
As such, Bertolino had submitted that the case be dismissed and that the Petito family be prevented from filing an amended lawsuit at the end of March. This request was not granted and the couples are currently expected to continue their legal dispute in a jury trial in 2023.
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