Whoa! The mother of Gabby Petito has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the curator of the estate of Brian Laundrie.
According to court documents obtained by Fox News, Nichole Schmidt stated in a suit submitted on Friday in Florida that Brian intentionally killed the 22-year-old travel vlogger. As a result of his actions, she and Gabby’s father, Joseph Petito, have now “incurred funeral and burial expenses, and they have suffered a loss of care and comfort, and suffered a loss of probable future companionship, society and comfort.” Schmidt is seeking $30,000 in damages and demanded a trial by jury, plus judgment for compensatory damages.
The new wrongful death lawsuit apparently comes as no surprise to the Laundrie family attorney, Steven Bertolino, who told the outlet it “was fully expected.” He added:
“This lawsuit will most likely not be defended and the Petitos will have gained nothing more than a piece of paper that tells them what everyone already knows – which is that Brian was responsible for Gabby’s death as indicated by the FBI.”
Meanwhile, the curator of Brian’s estate, Barry Spivey, said as the limited curator one of his primary functions “is to accept service of a summons on that lawsuit.” However, he noted that he has “absolutely no responsibility to respond to it,” adding:
“They needed somebody to accept service of process, but once that’s done, I’m done with it.”
News of the new legal action comes after Gabby’s parents filed an amended civil suit against Chris and Roberta Laundrie last week. As we previously reported, they allege that the two knew the whereabouts of their daughter’s body as authorities launched a massive missing person investigation. But instead of telling police the location of her body, Chris and Roberta went on a vacation to Fort De Soto Park with their son:
“Christopher Laundrie and [Roberta] Laundrie knew of the mental suffering and anguish of Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt in not knowing the well-being or location of their daughter, and further knew that such mental suffering and anguish increased each day that Gabrielle Petito was missing. Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie further knew that they could prevent such additional mental suffering and anguish of Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt by disclosing what they knew about the well-being and location of the remains of Gabrielle Petito, yet they repeatedly refused to do so.”
The civil suit expands on a previous filing in March that claimed Chris and Roberta helped their son evade capture by law enforcement despite knowing Brian was responsible for Gabby’s death. And of course, the Laundries have been fighting back against the accusations. Bertolino even submitted a motion to dismiss it on March 30, claiming that there is no evidence to support their allegations of “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
Reactions? What do you think will come of this new lawsuit? Let us know in the comments (below).