The family of Brian Laundrie is now trying to get the lawsuit brought against it by the family of Gabby Petito dismissed, Fox News reports.
This is the latest development in the story that captured a national audience last summer. It is the story of Petito, a travel blogger, who ended up dead after going on a cross-country trip with Laundrie, her boyfriend.
Laundrie, from the trip, returned home to his parent’s house in Petito’s van without Petito. Then, he went on the run, which lead to a lengthy manhunt.
The manhunt finally came to an end after Laundrie’s remains were found in a state park in Florida. An autopsy found that Laundrie committed suicide, and the FBI says that a notebook found near Laundrie’s remains contained an admission that he killed Petito.
In early March, the family of Gabby Petito decided to bring a lawsuit against the family of Brian Laundrie.
There has long been speculation that Laundrie’s parents helped their son to avoid capture after he went on the run. And, this is what Petito’s family alleges in the lawsuit, namely, that Laundrie’s parents helped their son to avoid being caught despite knowing that he killed Petito.
“Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie exhibited extreme and outrageous conduct which constitutes behavior, under the circumstances, which goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and is regarded as shocking, atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community,” the lawsuit reads.”
“As a direct and proximate result of the willfulness and maliciousness of Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie,” it continues, “Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt had been caused to suffer pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life experienced in the past and to be experienced in the future.”
The dismissal request
From the outset, the Laundries through their attorney, Steve Bertolino, made it clear that they would be looking to get the lawsuit dismissed. This week, Bertolino filed the dismissal motion in court.
“The gravamen of the claimed wrongdoing is that the Laundries exercised their constitutional rights and essentially made no statements to Plaintiffs or law enforcement,” the motion reads. “While the [Petito-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 constitutional right that Bertolino is referring to is the right to remain silent. Bertolino went on to call the lawsuit “baseless and frivolous,” and he argued that, if the judge does grant the motion to dismiss, the Petito family ought not to be allowed to file an amended lawsuit.
The judge has yet to rule on the motion.