A wrongful death lawsuit brought by Gabby Petito’s family against Brian Laundrie’s estate resulted in a $3 million settlement from a Florida judge.
In a decision filed on Thursday, Sarasota County Circuit Judge Hunter Carroll issued the order.
On November 3, 2022, in Salt Lake City, Nichole Schmidt, the mother of Gabby Petito, speaks at a press conference while her husband Jim Schmidt watches.
According to the lawsuit, Laundrie killed the 22-year-old travel blogger on purpose, and as a result of his actions, Nichole Schmidt and Joseph Petito, Petito’s mother and father, “incurred funeral and burial expenses, and they have suffered a loss of care and comfort, and they have suffered a loss of probable future companionship, society, and comfort.”
Damages of at least $30,000 were demanded in the case. It was brought in May by Schmidt, the executor of Petito’s will, against Barry Spivey, the curator of Laundrie’s estate who had been appointed by the court. When contacted at the time for comment, Spivey stated that he was playing a “very restricted part.”
A Florida judge has awarded Gabby Petito's family $3 million in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Brian Laundrie's estate. https://t.co/azkwwWhiGe
— ABC News (@ABC) November 18, 2022
On September 11, 2021, Gabby Petito‘s family reported her missing when she was traveling cross-country with Laundrie. In Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest, her body was discovered about a week later. A coroner determined that she had died from “blunt-force injuries to the head and neck, with manual strangulation.”
Read More: Gabby Petito Cause Of Death: Horrible Murder Story Of Petito!
According to the FBI, Laundrie wrote in a journal that he killed Petito before he was later discovered dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at Florida’s Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.
The Gabby Petito Foundation, established by her family after her death to support the battle against domestic abuse and the search for the missing, will receive any compensation funds obtained, according to an attorney for the Petito family.
According to the lawyer, Patrick Reilly, “no amount of money is adequate to make up for the loss of their daughter, Gabby, at the hands of Brian Laundrie.” “$3 million is an artificial number; Brian did not have that much money.”
Because of the ruling, a trial that was slated to take place in December won’t happen, he added.
The Laundrie family’s lawyer, Steve Bertolino, claimed that the reason he collaborated with Reilly on the settlement was “to avoid the expenditure of a trial when the outcome of a money judgment was unavoidable.”
In a statement, Bertolino expressed the hope that “this provides some closure to this one chapter of this tragedy.”
The death of Petito is the subject of numerous lawsuits, including this one.
In a civil complaint against Laundrie’s parents that was filed in Florida in March, Petito’s parents claimed that Laundrie’s parents were attempting to aid Laundrie in escaping once they learned that he had killed her.
The claims were refuted by Christopher and Roberta Laundrie’s legal representatives, who also tried unsuccessfully to have the case dismissed. The case’s jury trial is set to start in August 2023.
In a statement on Thursday, Bertolino expressed his eagerness to collaborate with Reilly “to address the litigation ongoing” against the Laundries.
The police department in Moab, Utah, where Gabby Petito and Laundrie were questioned about a potential domestic dispute weeks before she was reported missing, is being sued for wrongful death by Gabby Petito’s parents.