VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) — Depositions begin this week in the lawsuit filed by the family of Gabby Petito against the parents of Brian Laundrie and their longtime family attorney.
Petito’s parents, Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt, will be questioned by the legal teams for Chris and Roberta Laundrie and their attorney Steven Bertolino on Tuesday and Wednesday. It is unclear if the Laundries and Bertolino will be present for the depositions.
If the Laundries choose to appear, it will mark the first time the parents of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie are face-to-face since Petito’s murder and Laundrie’s suicide in 2021.
The tables will be turned in two months when the Laundries will be on the receiving end of questions from Petito and Schmidt on October 10-11.
A series of depositions have been scheduled for the coming weeks as both sides prepare for trial in May 2024. Petito’s parents are suing the Laundries and Bertolino for intentional infliction of emotional distress. They claim the Laundries were aware of Petito’s murder soon after the 22-year-old’s death in August 2021 and chose to do nothing other than issue a statement through Bertolino expressing hope she would be found.
The depositions will include Cassie Laundrie, Brian Laundrie’s sister, who remains the only member of the Laundrie family to speak publicly in the aftermath of Petito’s death. Cassie is scheduled to be questioned by the legal team for Petito and Schmidt on November 6.
Petito family attorney Pat Reilly told WFLA.com he’ll be “Looking for whatever knowledge she has about Gabby’s death.”
Cassie Laundrie spoke to news outlets during the manhunt for Brian after he disappeared from their family home in North Port, Florida on September 17, 2021. She then confronted demonstrators outside her Florida home, telling them she had been with Brian and her family during a camping trip to Fort DeSoto weeks prior, but didn’t suspect any problems at that time.
Also on the schedule for the upcoming depositions are two social workers — Trina Laughlin and Georgia Koutouzis — although their exact connection to the case is unclear at this time.
The trial is scheduled for May 13, 2024 in Sarasota County court.
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