Gabby Petito's Parents Add New Claims to Lawsuit Against Laundries
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Gabby Petito’s Parents File Amended Complaint Alleging Brian Laundrie’s Parents Went on Vacation Even Though They ‘Knew Where Her Body Was Located’

 
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie appear in Aug. 12, 2021 Moab, Utah police body camera videos.

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie appear in Aug. 12, 2021 Moab, Utah police body camera videos.

The parents of Gabby Petito filed an amended complaint in their lawsuit against Brian Laundrie’s parents earlier this week.

In the latest iteration of the lawsuit filed on Thursday, April 28, 2022, the murdered social media star’s parents claim that Laundrie’s parents went on vacation knowing where the 22-year-old’s body was located–even as a multi-state search was being conducted to find her.

“While Gabrielle Petito’s family was suffering, the Laundrie family went on vacation to Fort DeSoto Park on September 6-7, 2021. They went on vacation knowing that 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,” the newly-amended complaint says.

As Law&Crime previously reported, Gabby Petito’s father Joseph Petito, and mother Nichole Schmidt, originally filed their civil lawsuit on March 11, 2022, alleging that Brian Laundrie’s parents “were keeping the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie secret” and “were making arrangements for him to leave the country.”

“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,” the original lawsuit alleged. “On that same date, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie spoke with Attorney Steve Bertolino, and sent him a retainer onn September 2, 2021.”

The new version of the filing also adds an entire section that takes aim at statements made by the Laundries about Gabby Petito’s whereabouts–before she was confirmed to be dead.

“It is our understanding that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming,” the Laundrie family said in a statement released on Sept. 14, 2021. “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.”

The new filing lambastes that alleged “hope” expressed:

[W]ith full knowledge that Gabriel Petito had been murdered by their son, and it is believed that they knew the whereabouts of her body, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie through their lawyer issued the…statement.

For the Laundries to express their “hope” that Gabrielle Petito was located and reunited with her family, at a time when they knew she had been murdered by their son was beyond outrageous.

Last month, an attorney for the Laundries filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit by arguing that the  parents simply “exercised their constitutional rights and essentially made no statements to the Plaintiffs” about the status of the investigation.

“The Complaint should be dismissed with prejudice and the Plaintiffs should not be granted leave to amend,” Tampa, Fla. attorney Matthew Luka wrote. “The Complaint is insufficient and deficient as a matter of law for many reasons and those deficiencies cannot be cured by an amended Complaint.”

The recent changes to the lawsuit can be read as an attempt to address those alleged “deficiencies” in the original filing–by adding explicit statements from the Laundries to their theory of liability.

The new filing also specifies four specific counts that were not in the original: damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, and loss of capacity for enjoyment of life damages. Each of the two plaintiffs are specifically claiming such damages against each of the two defendants.

Read the full filing below:

[images via Moab Police Department]

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