Brian Laundrie’s estate to pay $3 million in wrongful death lawsuit from Petito family

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

Brian Laundrie’s estate will have to pay $3 million to the family of Gabby Petito after a settlement was reached in the Petito family’s wrongful death lawsuit.

According to the Petito family attorney, Brian Laundrie did not have $3 million. But whatever money his estate pays will help the Petitos in their endeavors with the Gabby Petito Foundation, which supports search efforts for missing people.

“At some point, the civil justice system just has to grapple with the idea that someone is going to put a number of value on something that’s intangible which is, which is love, which is companionship, which is the loss to the family,” said lawyer Jonathan Martin.

A judge set that number at $3 million, but Martin believes the Petito family will never see that money. “Nobody here is going to offer to lose a loved one for only $3 million.”

The Petito family still has lawsuits pending against Laundrie’s family, and the Moab Police Department in Utah concerning the traffic stop shortly before Gabby’s death.

Gabby’s parents believe that had the officers done more than separate the couple for a night, she might still be alive.

WINK News asked Martin if this latest settlement affects the case in Utah.

“It’s definitely something that I think the defense would want to use to show that, hey, look, there’s a wrongdoer. He’s already been held accountable. There’s a judgment for $3 million against him. It’s not our fault,” said Martin.

The lawsuit’s purpose is to find fault, demand accountability, and create systemic changes for victims of domestic abuse and violence.

The Petito family filed a lawsuit in March, claiming the Laundries knew Gabby Petito was dead and kept the information from them. She and Laundrie set out on a trip together last summer to visit national parks across the country, but in September, Laundrie returned to North Port in their shared camper van without Gabby. Her remains were later found in Wyoming.

Brian went missing after going camping in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, where his remains were later found. An autopsy stated he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Petito family lawsuit against the Laundrie parents is set for trial next August.

The lawsuit against the Moab, Utah, police department demands $50 million in damages.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.