Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie’s Families Reach Settlement in Lawsuit

The family of Gabby Petito has reached a settlement with the family of Brian Laundrie — who killed Gabby during a road trip in 2021 before dying by suicide weeks later — to avoid trial in the Petitos’ emotional distress lawsuit against Laundrie’s parents.

The two families previously settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Petitos against Brian’s estate for $3 million in November 2022. However, the Petito family also sued the Laundries for emotional distress, claiming that Brian’s parents already knew that their son had killed Gabby and didn’t say anything to her parents, even amid a search effort to find their then-missing daughter. 

Gabby was found murdered in Grand Teton National Park on September 19, 2021, 18 days after Laundrie arrived alone back in Florida and a week after Petito was initially declared missing. Brian’s remains — and his written confession to strangling Gabby — were found in a Florida environmental park on October 20, 2021.

In the lawsuit, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt accused Brian’s parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, of “shocking, atrocious and utterly intolerable” actions that caused them to “suffer pain and suffering, mental anguish” and the “loss of capacity for enjoyment of life.”

“While Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt were desperately searching for information concerning their daughter, [the Laundries] were keeping the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie secret, and it is believed they were making arrangements for him to leave the country,” the lawsuit alleged.

The lawsuit was set to head to trial in May, but following reports about the evidence against the Laundries — including an August 29, 2021, phone call from Brian where he told his parents that Gabby was “gone” and that he might need a lawyer — both sides worked to a settlement, CNN reports.


“All parties reluctantly agreed in order to avoid further legal expenses and prolonged personal conflict,” the Petito family said in a statement. “Our hope is to close this chapter of our lives to allow us to move on and continue to honor the legacy of our beautiful daughter, Gabby.”

The Laundrie family said in a statement via their attorney Steve Bertolino, “Christopher and Roberta Laundrie and I participated in mediation with the Petito family and the civil lawsuit has now been resolved. The terms of the resolution are confidential, and we look forward to putting this matter behind us.”

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