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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Laundrie family has lost their attorney ahead of the Gabby Petito trial, 8 On Your Side learned on Thursday.
Matthew Luka took a new job at another law firm, which required him to hand the case over to someone else, he said. He will be replaced by Ryan Gilbert.
“The Laundries are good people, and it was my pleasure to work with them,” Luka said in a statement. “Ryan Gilbert will do a terrific job for them, so I know they are in good hands.”
When asked who he thinks will prevail in the trial, he deferred to Gilbert.
“I wish the Laundries all the best and have always believed in their case, but I’ll leave that for Mr. Gilbert to answer after he has had a chance to complete discovery,” Luka said.
The Petito lawsuit is set to go to trial in May.
Petito’s parents are suing the Laundries and Attorney Steven 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.
In June, a judge denied a motion from the Laundries to dismiss the lawsuit.
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