BRIAN Laundrie’s parents will give a huge update on the Petito family lawsuit as their attorney says, “we’re prepared for anything.”
Chris and Roberta Laundrie will seek another dismissal following the news that a jury trial has been scheduled for the lawsuit filed by Gabby Petito’s parents.
However, if the jury trial does happen, it won’t begin anytime soon.
A jury trial has been set for the week of August 14, 2023, at the South County Courthouse in Venice, Florida, according to court documents.
The case still faces the possibility of being dismissed after the Laundries’ attorney, Steve Bertolino, previously filed the motion on March 30 for dismissal on the grounds their clients exercised their constitutional right to refrain from speaking and have “continuously relied on counsel to speak for them.”
Judge Hunter W. Carroll responded to the motion by allowing the attorneys of Petito and Schmidt 20 days to file an amended complaint.
Pat Reilly, the attorney for Petito and Schmidt, told WFLA that he’s preparing to file the amended complaint to state “separate causes of action on behalf of the Petito family against the Laundries.”
A ruling on whether the lawsuit will be dismissed is expected after Judge Carroll reviews the revisions.
Bertolino told the outlet that his clients will still seek dismissal regardless of the changes made to the amended complaint.
“We are prepared for everything,” Bertolino said.
Still, Reilly says he has a “high confidence level” that the lawsuit will reach a jury trial if it doesn’t get settled out of court.
“The court will have to decide whether the motion to dismiss has any merit, which I don’t believe it does,” Reilly told the outlet.
‘BASELESS AND FRIVOLOUS’
The Laundries’ attorney previously released a statement to the media deeming the Petito’s suit “baseless and frivolous.”
“A motion to dismiss the baseless and frivolous lawsuit commenced by Gabby Petito‘s parents was filed in court,” Bertolino said.
“The Laundries have exercised their constitutional right to refrain from speaking and have relied on counsel to speak for them. This is not only common practice in our civilized society but it embodies the exercise of fundamental rights under the United States and Florida Constitutions.”
He continued: “The Laundries’ rights are inalienable and the Laundries can never be liable for exercising their legal rights in a permissible way.
“Myself and my colleagues at Trombley & Hanes, who are representing Chris and Roberta Laundrie in this matter, are confident that the constitutional rights of all citizens of this country will be protected by the dismissal of this lawsuit.”
The suit was filed by Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt last month, claiming that Laundrie’s parents knew their son had murdered the 22-year-old vlogger.
The Laundries are also accused in the lawsuit of helping their son flee the United States after the murder.
“It is believed, and therefore averred that… Brian Laundrie advised his parents, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie, that he had murdered Gabrielle Petito,” the lawsuit states.
“On that same date, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie spoke with Bertolino, and sent him a retainer on Sept. 2, 2021.”
The document also alleges Laundrie exchanged text messages between his phone and Petito’s after she died “in an effort to hide the fact she was deceased.”
Pat Reilly, representing Petito and Schmidt, was asked if there is evidence to support the allegations. He told WFLA: “they’ll have to wait and see.”
“If we didn’t believe it was true, we wouldn’t have put them in the complaint,” Reilly added.
The Petitos filed the suit on March 10.
The family is now seeking damages of at least $100,000, stating that they suffered pain and mental anguish.