Family of Gabby Petito to file $50M wrongful death lawsuit against Moab PD

Aug 8, 2022, 10:59 AM | Updated: Nov 3, 2022, 11:23 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Gabby Petito’s parents announced with their attorneys that they intend to file a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against the Moab City Police Department for the death of their daughter.

Petito was found dead on Sept. 19 after being reported missing on Sept. 11 by her family. She and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, had taken a cross-country road trip together and were reported for a domestic violence incident on Aug. 11 in Moab.

Moab police encountered Petito and her boyfriend at the time, Brian Laundrie, in August 2021, after receiving two reports on the couple for domestic violence. Officers stopped the couple, talked to each of them individually and ultimately separated them for the night. Despite deliberation between responding officers, no charges were ever filed.

The 52-minute bodycam of Petito and Laundrie’s encounter with police was eventually released, and an investigation into the officers’ actions was opened.

Review of the police handling of Gabby Petito incident finds ‘unintentional mistakes’

The family, which includes Joseph and Tara Petito and Nichole and Jim Schmidt, will be represented by the law firm of Parker & McConkie who allege that the failures of the Moab City Police Department resulted in Gabby Petito’s death.

According to James McConkie, “While the full evidence has not yet been made public, when it is released, it will clearly show that if the officers had been properly trained and followed the law, Gabby would still be alive today.”

A press conference held on Aug. 8 condemned the police department’s actions and inactions stating that had the officers had the training to recognize the “obvious indicators of abuse, it would have been clear to them that Gabby was a victim of intimate partner violence and needed immediate protection.”

Jame McConkie claimed the Moab police department had issues with high turnover, lack of leadership and dangerous mismanagement for years, and provided past examples of the department’s mistakes.

Included as evidence against the Moab City Police Department was a public notice of “Help Wanted- Police Detective- Domestic Violence Specialist” and an incident in 2015 where two Moab police officers joined a teenage drinking party.

KSL TV reached out to the Moab City Police Department who told them, “The City does not comment on pending litigation.”

Gabby’s mother Nichole Schmidt said, “I think Gabby’s story has touched a lot of people and she’s saving lives. I get people messaging me all the time that they were inspired by her to get out of a relationship.”

Gabby’s family has established the Gabby Petito Foundation to promote a greater understanding of the dangers associated with domestic violence.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

(Photo courtesy: Brady Quan)...

Andrew Adams

Video shows SUV pushing parked car across street, into Orem house

Neighbors say the homeowners avoided injury Wednesday in a car-versus-house ordeal that surveillance video showed happened when an SUV pulled up behind a parked car and then pushed it across the street.

1 hour ago

three firefighters stand in the demolished remains of what was a house...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Holladay neighbors assess damage, begin cleanup after dynamite detonation

Neighbors in Holladay are figuring out what it’ll take to clean up and who’s paying for the damage, after a massive home explosion with planned dynamite detonation

9 hours ago

You’ve likely noticed a growing number of businesses that have gone completely cashless. When it ...

Matt Gephardt

Businesses are passing their credit card fees onto customers, what can you do?

You’ve likely noticed a growing number of businesses that have gone completely cashless. When it comes time to pay, it’ll involve a tap, swipe or maybe a click on an app. It's a phenomenon that is contributing to the price we pay for goods and services.

10 hours ago

Juan Diego Catholic High Principal Galey Colosimo speaks to the Utah High School Activities Associa...

Amy Donaldson, KSL Podcasts

Big changes proposed for Utah high school sports involving local, international students

Some massive changes could be coming to high school sports in Utah.

10 hours ago

$20 bills...

Larry D. Curtis

Ring customers getting millions sent after suit by FTC

The Federal Trade Commission is sending millions of dollars to people who had an account with Ring, a home security camera company, through PayPal.

11 hours ago

A yellow plastic police line, blocking off a scene, and showing a blurred police car in the backgro...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Cause of Parowan teacher’s death ‘undetermined’

A recently completed report by the Utah State Medical Examiner's Office could not come up with a conclusive manner of death for a Parowan teacher who died in December.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Family of Gabby Petito to file $50M wrongful death lawsuit against Moab PD