Brian Laundrie's parents 'may face TRIAL' as Gabby Petito's parents claim he 'covered up her death' in shock lawsuit
A JURY trial has been scheduled for the lawsuit filed by Gabby Petito’s parents against the parents of Brian Laundrie.
The suit was filed by Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt last month, claiming that Laundrie’s parents knew their son had murdered the 22-year-old vlogger.
Steve Bertolino, who is representing Brian Laundrie's parents, released a statement to the media deeming the Petito suit "baseless and frivolous."
"A motion to dismiss the baseless and frivolous lawsuit commenced by Gabby Petito‘s parents was filed in court," Bertolino said.
"The Laundries have exercised their constitutional right to refrain from speaking and have relied on counsel to speak for them. This is not only common practice in our civilized society but it embodies the exercise of fundamental rights under the United States and Florida Constitutions."
He continued: "The Laundries’ rights are inalienable and the Laundries can never be liable for exercising their legal rights in a permissible way.
"Myself and my colleagues at Trombley & Hanes, who are representing Chris and Roberta Laundrie in this matter, are confident that the constitutional rights of all citizens of this country will be protected by the dismissal of this lawsuit."
If the jury trial does happen, it won’t begin anytime soon.
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A schedule has been set for the week of August 14, 2023, at the South County Courthouse in Venice, Florida, according to court documents.
The Laundries are also accused in the lawsuit of helping their son flee the United States after the murder.
"It is believed, and therefore averred that… Brian Laundrie advised his parents, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie, that he had murdered Gabrielle Petito," the lawsuit states.
"On that same date, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie spoke with Bertolino, and sent him a retainer on Sept. 2, 2021."
The document also alleges Laundrie exchanged text messages between his phone and Petito's after she died "in an effort to hide the fact she was deceased."
Pat Reilly, representing Petito and Schmidt, was asked if there is evidence to support the allegations. He told WFLA: "they'll have to wait and see."
“If we didn’t believe it was true, we wouldn’t have put them in the complaint,” Reilly added.
The suit was filed on March 10.
Judge Hunter W Carroll release a statement on Wednesday's order: “To be clear, the Court in today’s order is not passing on Defendants’ arguments that this lawsuit should be dismissed with prejudice,”
“The Court’s intent is to address the perceived procedural deficiency before addressing the merits of Defendants’ motion.”
Additionally, the lawsuit alleges Laundrie sent a text from Petito's phone on August 30 to Schmidt "in an effort to deceive" her. The text claimed there was no service in Yosemite Park.
The suit goes on to state that there was no contact between the Petitos or the Laundries after Brian returned home from the road trip on September 1, the Petito family claims.
However, once the official search for Petito's remains began, the lawsuit alleges the Laundrie family refused to comply with law enforcement and the Petito family, failing to answer questions and provide information.
Schmidt also alleges that Roberta Laundrie blocked her phone number and also her Facebook profile around September 10, a WFLA reporter claims.
The Petito family also claims in the suit that Laundrie's parents were planning to help him flee the country.
"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 believed were making arrangements for him to leave the country," the lawsuit reads.
"Christopher and Roberta Laundrie exhibited extreme and outrageous conduct which constitutes behavior, under the circumstances, which goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and is regarded as shocking, atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community."
The Petito family is now seeking damages of at least $100,000, stating that they suffered pain and mental anguish.
More to follow…
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