The lawsuit states that the family of the slain Long Islander, including Schmidt and Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, “incurred funeral and burial expenses, and they suffered loss of care and comfort, and suffered loss of probable future companionship, society and comfort,” reports Fox News.
Schmidt, who lives in Blue Point, is the administrator of Petito’s estate, 22, ABC News reported.
His lawsuit seeks $30,000 and requires a jury trial, as well as a judgment for compensatory damages, according to reports.
Petito, a Blue Pointer native, disappeared in August last year while traveling across the country with Laundrie, his fiancé, who returned to his parents’ Florida home in his van on September 1. After a frantic interstate search, involving several law enforcement agencies, she was found strangled to death near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on September 19 – eight days after Schmidt filed a missing person report with police in his hometown of Suffolk County.
Laundrie committed suicide and his remains were later found in a Florida swamp, along with a note in which he admitted responsibility for her death, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In a statement, Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino called the new lawsuit “fully anticipated” and likely “will not be defended.”
“The Petitos will have won 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 reported by the FBI,” a- he added.
Petito’s family sued Laundrie’s parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, in March, and last week filed an amended lawsuit claiming the couple knew the location of Petito’s undiscovered remains when they went on vacation. vacation, Newsday reported.
Petito’s family say there was evidence of blunt force injuries to the head and neck and they also believe the laundries planned to help their son leave the United States, WFLA.com reports.
“While Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt desperately sought information regarding their daughter, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie kept the fate of Brian Laundrie a secret, and it is believed that they were arranging for him to leave the country,” the lawsuit states. .
The lawsuit claims that Laundrie texted between her phone and Petito’s after her death “in an effort to hide the fact that she was dead,” and mentions a text he allegedly sent Schmidt on Aug. 27 referencing to Petito’s grandfather by his first name, Stan, reports WFLA.com.
Schmidt has said in previous interviews that Petito would never have called her grandfather by his first name and at the time, that concerned her.
The lawsuit also mentions a text Laundrie allegedly sent to Schmidt while claiming to be Petito, claiming there was no service in Yosemite “for the purpose of deceiving her,” according to WFLA.com.
Petito’s family previously said there was no communication between them and the laundries, and in their lawsuit they point out how the family would not respond to their questions or to law enforcement about Petito’s disappearance. and how they went camping at Fort DeSoto Park “while Gabrielle Petito’s family suffered,” WFLA.com reported.
The lawsuit also claims that Roberta Laundrie blocked Schmidt’s phone number and stopped her from posting messages on Facebook around the time her daughter was reported missing, according to the outlet.
The lawsuit accuses the laundries of “maliciousness or gross disregard for the rights of” Petito’s family, WFLA.com reported.
“Christopher and Roberta Laundrie have exhibited extreme and scandalous conduct which constitutes behavior”, which “exceeds all possible limits of decency and is considered shocking, atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community” , according to the lawsuit obtained by the outlet.
The lawsuit seeks at least $100,000 and says Petito and Schmidt suffered pain and mental anguish as a result of the laundries’ “stubbornness and viciousness”, WFLA.com reported.
In the amended lawsuit, Petito family lawyer Patrick Reilly wrote: “They went on vacation knowing that Brian Laundrie had murdered Gabrielle Petito, it is believed they knew where her body was and further knew that Gabrielle Petito’s parents were trying to locate her,” the outlet reported.
Bertolino previously called the lawsuit “baseless” and “frivolous.”
In a statement to Patch after the Amended Complaint was filed, Bertolino said, “The allegations in the Amended Complaint may now comply with proper pleadings, but they do not give rise to liability under the law. We are therefore still confident that the Court will dismiss the action.”