Gabby Petito’s parents claim in the lawsuit that the Laundries refused to inform them whether Brian had confessed to killing their daughter.
The parents of Brian Laundrie have asked a Florida court to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the family of Gabby Petito.
According to CNN, Petito’s parents allege that the Laundries knew that their son, Brian, had murdered Petito, and were actively working to help him flee the United States.
In their complaint, the Petitio family states that Laundrie told his parents that he had murdered Gabby Petitio on or around August 28, and that the Laundries thereafter refused to respond to requests from Petitio’s family and law enforcement for more information.
The Laundries, says the Petitio family’s lawsuit, also refused to divulge if Gabby Petitio was alive.
“Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie knew of the mental suffering and anguish of Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, and knew that they could alleviate, at least in part, such mental suffering and anguish by disclosing what they knew about the well-being and the location of the remains of Gabrielle Petito, yet they repeatedly refused to do so,” the lawsuit states.
However, attorneys for the Laundrie family have since filed a motion o dismiss, saying that the Laundries had a “general constitutional right not to speak on any topic and a more specific constitutional right not to speak in the face of a criminal investigation.”
Steven Bertolino, an attorney for the family, told CNN that the lawsuit is “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. “This is not only common practice in our civilized community but it embodies the exercise of fundamental rights under the United States and Florida Constitutions.”
“While the [Petitio-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 Laundries’ motion to dismiss states.
Bertolino further said that the families’ “failure to state a cause of action in the Complaint provides ample basis to conclude that the Plaintiffs would not be able to add the missing—but required—information if provided with another opportunity to bolster their allegations.”
“We are confident,” he added, “that the constitutional rights of all citizens of this country will be protected by the dismissal of this lawsuit.”
Laundrie and Petito, notes FOX News, were social media personalities who set off on a cross-country road trip last summer.
However, Petito went missing in summer; the F.B.I. announced that Brian Laundrie, her long-time partner, was the sole suspect in her disappearance
Weeks after Petito’s remains were found near a Wyoming campground, Brian Laundrie’s decayed corpse was recovered from a Florida swamp.
Laundries’ parents, recalls FOX News, located their son’s remains in a clearing that had been underwater for over a month.
Now, the Petito-Schmidt families say that Laundrie likely confessed to killing Petito at the end of August, and that the Laundries hired Bertolino—a long-time family friend—on September 2nd.
“There were multiple conversations between Brian, his parents, and their lawyer Steven Bertolini before Brian left Wyoming on August 30, 2021,” Petito family attorney Richard Stafford told FOX in a press release. “Christopher and Roberta [Laundrie] had multiple opportunities to disclose to Joe, Nichole, or the authorities that Gabby was no longer alive and to direct them to her body.”