NewsSarasota, Manatee County

Actions

Parents of Brian Laundrie file motion to dismiss lawsuit filed by Gabby Petito's parents

Brian Laundrie.png
Posted at 5:49 AM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 07:49:39-04

SARASOTA, Fla. — The parents of Brian Laundrie filed a motion on Wednesday afternoon to dismiss the lawsuit brought against them by the parents of Gabby Petito.

Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt filed a lawsuit against Christopher and Roberta Laundrie on March 10. Petito and Schmidt's daughter Gabby was killed by Brian Laundrie while on a trip in Wyoming.

Nichole Schmidt, Joseph Petito, Jim Schmidt, Tara Petito, Richard Stafford
Nichole Schmidt, mother of Gabby Petito, whose death on a cross-country trip sparked a manhunt for her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, speaks alongside, from left, Tara Petito, stepmother, Joseph Petito, father, Richard Stafford, family attorney, and Jim Schmidt, stepfather, during a news conference, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, in Bohemia, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Joseph Petito
FILE - Joseph Petito, father of Gabby Petito, whose death on a cross-country trip sparked a manhunt for her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, in Bohemia, N.Y. In a lawsuit filed in Florida, Thursday, March 10, 2022, the parents of Gabby Petito claim that Brian Laundrie told his parents he had killed her when he returned home alone from their ill-fated western trip in a converted van. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

The lawsuit filed by Petito and Schmidt accused Roberta Laundrie of blocking Schmidt on her cell phone as well as on Facebook during the investigation. It also alleges that the Laundrie family knew their son had murdered Petito when they issued this statement:

"It is our understanding that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. On behalf of the Laundrie family, it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family."

Just after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, the Laundries filed a motion to dismiss the suit in Sarasota because, "there are no facts that could support this cause of action," according to the motion.

"The gravamen of the claimed wrongdoing is that the Laundries exercised their constitutional rights and essentially made no statements to Plaintiffs of law enforcement," the motion reads. "As a matter of the law the Laundries' silence (conduct) could not form the basis of a claim for the intentional infliction of emotional distress."

The motion goes on to say, "The defendants assume the cause of action is one for intentional infliction of emotional distress because words relevant to the elements of that cause of action appear in the Complaint."

Read the full motion below.

Laundrie Motion to Dismiss by ABC Action News