(CNN) — Nichole Schmidt, the mother of Gabby Petito, has taken legal action against the Brian Laundrie estate by filing a complaint in Sarasota County on Friday, seeking monetary compensation for the “wrongful death” of her daughter asks.
According to the lawsuit, Petito and Laundrie, who had been her fiancé, left New York in July for an overland trip where Petito hoped to become a travel influencer by documenting the details of her trip on social media. Petito was in constant contact with her parents and siblings throughout the trip, the suit said, and her last communication with them was on Aug. 27.
Petito’s remains were found in Teton County, Wyoming in September, just over a week after her family reported her missing. The 22-year-old woman died from strangulation, the coroner ruled. Laundrie returned alone to the couple’s home on September 1, left and disappeared about two weeks later.
Laundrie’s remains were later found at a Florida wildlife sanctuary and a coroner ruled that he had died by suicide. Nearby, authorities found a notebook in which they said Laundrie had accepted responsibility for Petito’s death.
“As a direct and immediate result of Brian Laundrie’s unlawful conduct, Nichole Schmidt and Joseph Petito have incurred funeral and burial expenses and suffered a loss of care and comfort and suffered a loss of likely future companionship, companionship and comfort,” the said Men’s suit.
Schmidt is asking for a jury trial, and while the lawsuit does not list a specific monetary amount, it is seeking “damages in excess of $30,000.”
The Laundrie family’s lawyer downplayed the lawsuit in an email to CNN on Saturday.
“The filing of the wrongful death lawsuit by the Petito family was fully anticipated. This lawsuit will most likely not be defended and the Petitos will have received nothing more than a piece of paper telling them what everyone already knows, which is that Brian was responsible for Gabby’s death, as stated by the FBI,” Steven P. Bertolino, A Lawyer representing the Laundrie family, CNN said.
CNN reached out to Schmidt’s attorney but received no response as of Saturday.
Petito’s family has also filed a lawsuit against Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, alleging they knew their son Brian Gabby murdered Petito and were working to help him escape the country, CNN previously reported. In an email in response to the earlier lawsuit, Bertolino said he was confident the case would be dismissed.
The CNN Wire
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