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Parents of Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie settle emotional distress civil suit

The parents of Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito settled a civil lawsuit alleging Laundrie's parents knew of Petito's death before issuing a statement saying they hoped she would be found. Photo courtesy of North Port Police/Twitter
The parents of Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito settled a civil lawsuit alleging Laundrie's parents knew of Petito's death before issuing a statement saying they hoped she would be found. Photo courtesy of North Port Police/Twitter

Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The parents of travel blogger Gabby Petito reached a settlement with the parents of her fiance Brian Laundrie, who admitted to killing her in 2021, in a civil suit accusing them of causing emotional distress.

Petito's family announced they had reached an agreement to avoid a trial in a statement through their attorneys.

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"After a long day of mediation, a confidential resolution has been reached between the parents of Gabby Petito, the parents of Brian Laundrie and attorney Steven Bertolino to which all parties reluctantly agreed in order to avoid further legal expenses and prolonged personal conflict," they said.

"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."

Berlotino confirmed the closed-door discussion in a statement to WFLA.

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

Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, Gabby Petito's parents, in 2022 sued the parents of Brian Laundrie, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, and their attorney Steven Bertolino for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

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Petito's parents charged that the Laundries and Bertolino knew their son had confessed to killing her yet issued a statement that expressed hope that she would be found.

It said Laundrie's parents knew about Petito's death on Aug. 28 before they reported her missing. Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie lived with the Laundries in Florida.

Laundrie returned from a road trip the couple took without Petito on Sept. 1, 2021. The Laundries spoke to Bertolino and took out a retainer to represent them the next day. Brian Laundrie would later commit suicide.

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