Nichole Schmidt filed the lawsuit in Florida seeking wrongful death damages of $30,000 and demands a trial by jury and judgment for compensatory damages.
The lawsuit, obtained by Fox News, alleges that Laundrie intentionally killed Petito. It also says that as a direct result of Laundrie’s actions, Schmidt and her husband Joseph Petito have “incurred funeral and burial expenses, and they have suffered a loss of care and comfort, and suffered a loss of probable future companionship, society and comfort.”
Laudrie’s family attorney Steven Bertolino told TMZ the lawsuit was expected, and most likely will not be defended.
“The Petitos will have gained nothing more than a piece of paper that tells them what everyone already knows—which is that Brian was responsible for Gabby’s death as indicated by the FBI,” he said.
The FBI announced in a statement in January that Laundrie admitted in a notebook to killing Petito. Laundrie was the prime suspect in Petito’s death prior to his own body being found at Florida’s Carlton Reserve in October 2021. A medical examiner ruled that he died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Petito’s body was found on Sept. 19, 2021, in a remote area near Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. A coroner later said that strangulation was her cause of death, which occurred about three weeks before her body was found. The 22-year-old’s parents had reported her missing on Sept. 11, 2021, while she and Laundrie were on a cross-country trip together.
Barry Spivey, the curator of Laundrie’s estate, told Fox News Digital that one of his responsibilities as a limited curator is to “accept service of a summons on that lawsuit,” but that he is not obliged to respond to the suit.
“They needed somebody to accept service of process, but once that’s done, I’m done with it,” he told the outlet of the complaint.
The latest lawsuit comes after Petito’s parents in a separate lawsuit alleged that Laundrie’s parents knew their son killed Petito before Laundrie’s body was found.
Laundrie’s parents—Christopher and Roberta Laundrie—have denied any knowledge related to Petito’s death including knowledge of where her remains were. They also denied the allegations that they helped their son flee when he was named a person of interest in Petitio’s death.