Petito family reaches agreement with Laundries to avoid a civil trial

Posted at 8:15 PM, February 21, 2024

NORTH PORT, Fla. (Scripps News Tampa) — The parents of Gabby Petito have reached an agreement with the family of Brian Laundrie to avoid a civil trial.

Joe Petito, father of Gabby Petito, looks at Nicole Schmidt during a press conference for SB117, a bill advocating for domestic violence protections, at the Capitol in Salt Lake City, on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Ryan Sun/The Deseret News via AP)

The families participated in mediation on Wednesday.

Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt sued Christopher and Roberta Laundrie for “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

Gabby’s parents claimed the Laundrie family knew Gabby was “gone” but did nothing to help. Instead, the Laundrie family issued press releases through their attorney, Steven Bertolino.

One press release was issued on September 14, 2021, and the other on September 19, 2021.

According to court records, specifically, on September 14, 2021, the Laundrie Parents, through Mr. Bertolino, acknowledged it was a difficult time for both families, expressed hope that the search for Ms. Petito would be successful and that she would be reunited with her family, and explained the Laundrie family would be remaining in the background and would have no further comment on advice of counsel.

On September 19, 2021, upon the discovery of Ms. Petito’s remains, the Laundrie Parents, through Mr. Bertolino, stated the news about Ms. Petito was heartbreaking and that the Laundrie family was praying for Ms. Petito and her family.

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito

FILE – This Aug. 12, 2021, file photo from video provided by the Moab, Utah, Police Department shows Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito talking to police officers after police pulled over their van near the entrance to Arches National Park in Utah. (The Moab Police Department via AP)

Bertolino sent Scripps News Tampa a statement regarding the confidential agreement reached on Wednesday.

“Christopher and Roberta Laundrie and I participated in mediation with the Petito family and the civil lawsuit has now been resolved. The terms of the resolution are confidential, and we look forward to putting this matter behind us,” said Bertolino.

Scripps News Tampa reached out to the attorney for the Petito family and the attorney for the Laundrie family. We are waiting to hear back.

Gabby’s body was discovered outside Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming in 2021.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Tampa, an E.W. Scripps Company.