(NewsNation) — The case captivated the nation, and now it’s heading to the courtroom. How much did Brian Laundrie’s parents know about what happened on that summer road trip? Gabby Petito’s family says the answer is “a lot.”
The Gabby Petito case could be heard in a courtroom next year. A trial date of August 2023 has been set for the civil lawsuit filed by Petito’s parents against the parents of her ex-fiancé Brian Laundrie.
What started out as an exciting adventure for the young couple ended in tragedy. The couple went out on a cross-country road trip when Petito vanished.
Laundrie returned home to Florida without Petito last September, sparking an extensive search for the 22-year-old blogger. One week into the search, Petito’s body was found in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
In October, Laundrie’s remains were found in a Florida nature reserve. According to investigators, he died from a self-inflicted single gunshot wound. Authorities report that in a journal found near his body, Laundrie admitted to killing Petito.
Now, the lawsuit from Petito’s parents claims that the Laundrie family knew Brian killed Gabby. They are seeking damages for intention infliction of emotional distress.
Do they have a case? Dave Aronberg, a state attorney in Florida, says it’s a tough one. According to Aronberg, the Petito family’s lawsuit must first survive a motion to dismiss that the Laundrie parents have filed.
“They should be fortunate to survive a motion to dismiss. That’s the first step. That is what the Laundrie parents have filed, which is just to get rid of the lawsuit where it doesn’t go to a jury at all. So they first have to survive that, which means they have to show that they could recover in a case like this, that this kind of case, if you assume all the allegations are true, would be an intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“Now, I think they may survive the motion (to) dismiss. But winning in the end will be really difficult because you’ve got to establish that there was a duty here, which was breached and what is the duty that the Laundrie parents have to Gabby’s parents? Well, Gabby’s parents are saying, you have a duty to tell us what happened to Gabby, you have a duty not to lie to us. There’ll be up to a jury ultimately to decide, if it gets that far,” Aronberg said.
The Petito family said there’s more evidence they want presented and more information about the case to come out in court.