Brian Laundrie’s family attorney seeks to dismiss lawsuit from Petitos

Brian Laundrie’s parents have motioned to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed by the parents of Gabby Petito (Pictures: AP/North Port Police DPT/CBS)

An attorney representing the parents of Brian Laundrie, who killed his girlfriend Gabby Petito before killing himself last year, asked a Florida judge on Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit from the slain girlfriend’s family.

The civil suit was filed by the Petito-Schmidt families earlier this month. In the suit, Petito’s parents accuse Laundrie’s parents of knowing their son had killed Gabby, and had been trying to help him hide from law enforcement.

The Laundrie family attorney, Steve Bertolino, filed a 20-page motion on Wednesday asking a Florida judge to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, and called the lawsuit ‘baseless and frivolous.’

‘The Laundries have exercised their constitutional right to refrain from speaking and have relied on counsel to speak for them,’ Bertolino said during an interview with Fox News.

‘While the [Petito-Schmidt families] allege some facts, those facts could never establish a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress because the Laundries’ “actions” were legally permissible, constitutionally protected, not outrageous, and do not give rise to any cause of action,’ the motion states.

Bertolino also asked the judge to prevent the Petito-Schmidt families from filing an amended lawsuit should his dismissal request be granted.

The lawsuit filed by the Petito parents alleges that Laundrie had told his parents about Gabby’s death ‘on or about’ August 28.

‘It is believed, and therefore averred that … Brian Laundrie advised his parents, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie, that he had Gabrielle Petito,’ the lawsuit states.

‘On that same date, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie spoke with Attorney Steve Bertolino, and sent him a retainer on September 2, 2021.’

The lawsuit points to texts sent from Laundrie’s cellphone and Gabby’s, which her parents believe he sent following her death ‘in an attempt to hide the fact that she was deceased.’

Her parents specifically mention a text they believe Laundrie sent to Gabby’s mother on August 27 that referred to her grandfather by his first name, Stan.

Her mother had previously said that final message had been a red flag because Gabby never called her grandfather by his first name.

The lawsuit also claims that Laundrie sent another text from Gabby’s phone to her mother telling her that there was no service in Yosemite Park ‘in an effort to deceive’ her into believing her daughter was still alive.

Gabby’s parents also accuse the Laundrie family of planning to help their son flee the country in the lawsuit.

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‘While Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt were desperately searching for information concerning their daughter, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie were keeping the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie secret, and it is believe were making arrangements for him to leave the country,’ the lawsuit claims.

Gabby’s family seeks damages of at least $100,000, claiming they have suffered pain and mental anguish as a result of the ‘willfulness and maliciousness,’ of the Laundries.

The lawsuit comes after the FBI determined that Brian Laundrie was solely responsible for the death of Gabby, his girlfriend who he had been on a cross-country road trip with over the summer. Authorities had found Gabby’s body in Bridger Teton National Forest, not too far from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. It was determined she died by strangulation.

Laundrie died a month after Gabby from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He admitted to killing Gabby in a notebook that was found in a Florida nature preserve next to his remains.

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