Gabby Petito: Family awarded $3 million in wrongful-death lawsuit against Brian Laundrie estate


A Sarasota County, Florida, judge ruled Thursday in favor of the family of Gabby Petito in a wrongful-death lawsuit against the estate of Brian Laundrie.

The final judgment awarded $3 million to Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, as administrator of Petito’s estate.

“The Petito family lost their daughter and were denied the opportunity to confront the killer,” Patrick Reilly, an attorney for Petito’s parents, said in a statement to CNN. “No amount of money will ever be enough to compensate the Petito family for the loss of their daughter Gabby at the hands of Brian Laundrie. Brian doesn’t have $3 million; it’s an arbitrary number. Whatever money they receive will help Gabby’s family with Gabby Petito The Foundation works together.”

Reilly said the trial, scheduled for December, would not take place. The director of the Landry estate did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

“Joseph Petitto and Nicole Schmidt want to turn their personal tragedy into something positive. They want the Gabby Foundation to bring these important issues to the forefront of the public eye for the benefit of all of our communities,” Lai Lee said.

Gabby Petito, 22, was at the center of a national search last year when she was reported missing after embarking on a cross-country trip with her fiancé, Laundrie.

Petito’s body was found in Teton County, Wyoming, in September, a little more than a week after her family reported her missing. The coroner ruled she died of asphyxiation.

Laundrie returned to the couple’s home alone on September 1, before leaving again about two weeks later and disappearing. Landry’s body was later found at a Florida nature preserve near his home in Sarasota County, and the medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.

Nearby, authorities found a notebook in which Laundrie claimed responsibility for Petito’s death.

Petitto’s family also filed another lawsuit in May against Christopher and Roberta Laundry, claiming they knew their son Brian murdered Petitto and that “her whereabouts of the dead body” and efforts are underway to help him flee the country.

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