NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — A civil lawsuit filed by Gabby Petito's family against Brian Laundrie's family could be headed to a Florida jury trial next year, according to multiple reports.
In March, Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt filed a lawsuit against Chris and Roberta Laundrie, alleging that they knew their son—who died of an apparent suicide amid a manhunt for his arrest—murdered 22-year-old Gabby and were attempting to help him flee the country.
It also alleges the Laundrie family "acted with malice or great indifference to the rights of" Gabby’s parents.
Though the Laundrie family's attorney, Steven Bertolino, filed a 20-page motion to dismiss later that month, calling the lawsuit "baseless and frivolous," a tentative trial date has been set for Aug. 14, 2023, according to Fox 13 Tampa Bay.
The lawsuit, which reportedly seeks at least $100,000, alleges that the Petito family suffered mental anguish because of the Laundrie family's "willfulness and maliciousness."
However, Bertolino alleged that the rights of Chris and Roberta Laundrie are "inalienable" and that they "can never be liable for exercising their legal rights in a permissible way."
WFLA reports that Florida Judge Hunter W. Carroll granted both family attorneys 20 days to file an amended complaint that was required due to a "perceived procedural deficiency" in the lawsuit.
Petito family attorney, Pat Reilly, told WFLA that he has a "high confidence level" that the lawsuit will reach a jury trial.
"The court will have to decide whether the motion to dismiss has any merit, which I don’t believe it does," he said.
Bertolino told 1010 WINS that the "motion to dismiss is still pending and will be decided once the [Petito's] file an amended complaint to correct the deficiencies in the first one."
If the trial does in fact occur, WFLA reports that it is expected to be open to the public.
Asked whether he believes a trial will move forward, Bertolino said the "motion to dismiss is my comment as to what I believe."