CNN

Florida judge is expected to make a decision in coming weeks on a lawsuit by Gabby Petito’s parents

Jun 22, 2022, 7:13 PM | Updated: Jun 25, 2022, 8:52 pm

(CNN) — A Florida judge said he plans to issue an order within the next two weeks regarding a lawsuit filed by Gabby Petito’s parents against the parents of Brian Laundrie.

In a complaint filed in March, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt alleged Christopher and Roberta Laundrie knew their son killed Petito and that they “acted with malice or great indifference” by not disclosing where her remains were.

In their court filings, Petito’s parents also said Laundrie’s parents “exhibited extreme and outrageous conduct” and requested “just compensation for the damages they have suffered, together with costs, and such other relief.”

Laundrie’s parents have filed a motion to dismiss the civil lawsuit.

Petito, whose disappearance last summer gripped the nation, was found dead in Wyoming after embarking on a cross-country trip with Laundrie, who was her fiance. A coroner ruled she died by strangulation. After returning to their Florida home alone and then leaving again, Laundrie was found dead weeks later. A medical examiner ruled he died by suicide.

Circuit Court Judge Hunter Carroll’s announcement Wednesday came after he heard arguments from attorneys for both sides.

An attorney for the Laundries argued Wednesday that “everybody has the right to their private enclave.”

“They don’t have to come and affirmatively state everything they know about everything,” attorney Matthew Luka said in court. “That’s just not the way our society works. It’s not how the constitution works. People are protected until they’re not.”

In response, the Petito family attorney said that the lawsuit doesn’t aim to force the defendants to say anything.

“That’s not what we’re doing,” the Petito family attorney said. “We’re seeking damages for their conduct.”

Petito’s parents sat next to their attorney during the hearing and at times, Petito’s mother was seen crying.

Separately, Schmidt has filed a lawsuit asking for monetary compensation for the “wrongful death” of her daughter and requesting a trial by jury.

“As a direct and proximate consequence of Brian Laundrie’s tortious conduct, Nichole Schmidt and Joseph Petito incurred funeral and burial expenses, and they have suffered a loss of care and comfort, and have suffered a loss of probable future companionship, society and comfort,” that suit said.

“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 alleges.

The lawsuit also alleges that while the search was still underway Roberta Laundrie blocked Nichole Schmidt’s calls and texts and also blocked her on social media.

No trial date has been set in the case.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL-TV Ladd Egan contributed to this article. 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

CNN

The rotation of Earth's core may have paused, scientists in China have suggested. (Adobe Stock via ...
Lianne Kolirin

Earth’s inner core may have stopped turning and could go into reverse, study suggests

The rotation of Earth's inner core may have paused and it could even go into reverse, new research suggests.
15 hours ago
M&M's are piled in a container on January 24, 2023 in Miami, Florida. M&M's announced that its mult...
Danielle Wiener-Bronner

How M&M’s is making the most of its spokescandies controversy

Following the flood of attention its characters are going on an "indefinite pause," handing off spokesperson responsibilities to actress and comedian Maya Rudolph.
2 days ago
Police officers detain a man, believed by law enforcement to be the Half Moon Bay mass shooting sus...
Ray Sanchez

‘Tragedy upon tragedy’: 44 hours, 3 mass shootings, 19 dead

(CNN) — Forty-four hours in America. Three mass shootings. Nineteen lives wiped out. All in California. The victims in suburban Monterey Park included people between the ages of 57 and 76, ringing in the Lunar New Year Saturday night at a dance studio in the heart of the city’s Asian American community. Then it happened […]
2 days ago
Signs for Taco Bell, Grinder, McDonalds, Panda Express fast-food restaurant line the streets in the...
Nathaniel Meyersohn

Food franchises are spending millions to oppose raises for their workers

California voters will decide next year on a referendum that could overturn a landmark new state law setting worker conditions and minimum wages up to $22 an hour for fast-food employees in the nation's largest state.
2 days ago
The sun sets on Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2022. ...
AJ Willingham

Disney’s Splash Mountain fans are getting their hands on whatever souvenirs they can

Walt Disney World's iconic Splash Mountain ride is officially closed, but hardcore Disney fans are going to creative lengths to keep pieces of the attraction forever.
2 days ago
(Getty Images)...
Amanda Watts

Dog attack kills boy, injures mother on Tribal land in Idaho, authorities say

A young boy was killed and his mother injured after being attacked by four dogs in Fort Hall, Idaho, according to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Florida judge is expected to make a decision in coming weeks on a lawsuit by Gabby Petito’s parents