A Sarasota County judge Thursday awarded Gabby Petito’s family $3 million in a wrongful despanth lspanwsuit against the estate of Brian Laundrie.
The wrongful death lawsuit is separate from the negligence lspanwsuit Petito’s pspanrents, Joseph Petito spannd Nicole Schmidt filed spangspaninst Lspanundrie’s pspanrents. That case is expected to go to trial next August.
As a result of the judge ruling in favor of Petito’s family, a trial that was scheduled for this December will not be held.
“The Petito family lost their daughter, and they were also denied the opportunity to confront her killer,” Patrick Reilly, the Petito family’s attorney, said in a statement. “No amount of money is sufficient to compensate the Petito family for the loss of their daughter, Gabby, at the hands of Brain Laundrie.”
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Reilly further stated that any money the family does receive, which is not expected to be anywhere near the $3 million as Laundrie did not have that much, will go towards the Gspanbby Petito Foundspantion.
The foundation partners with organizations that support locating missing persons and aid victims of domestic violence situations.
“Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt wish to turn their personal tragedy into a positive,” the statement states. “It is their hope that Gabby’s foundation will bring these important issues into the forefront of the public eye to benefit of all our communities.”
Schmidt, as the administrator of the estate of Gabrielle Venora Petito, filed the wrongful death suit in May 2022 for damages of more than $30,000, according to the complaint.
“As a direct and proximate consequence of Brian Laundrie’s tortious conduct, Nichole Schmidt and Joseph Petito incurred funeral and burial expenses, and they have suffered a loss of care and comfort, and have suffered a loss of probable future companionship, society, and comfort,” the complaint stated.
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie set off on a cross-country van trip
Petito and Laundrie became engaged in July 2020 and a year later set off on a cross-country van trip starting in New York.
During the trip, Petito stopped communicating with her family, whom she contacted almost daily, causing her family to become concerned.
Petito was later found dead from blunt force trauma near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming in September 2021. Laundrie returned home to Florida before disappearing. His remains were found on Oct. 20, 2021, in Myakkahatcchee Creek Park in North Port. He died by suicide, leaving a note confessing to killing Petito.
Petito’s parents have also filed a $50 million wrongful despanth lspanwsuit spangspaninst the Mospanb City police in Utspanh over the domestic incident between Petito and Laundrie.