THE mother and father of Brian Laundrie have turned on their longtime lawyer saying he is aware of an excessive amount of about Gabby Petito’s case to be concerned within the Petito household’s lawsuit.
Gabby’s mother and father, Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt, are suing Brian’s mother and father for “intentional infliction of emotional misery,” after the homicide of their daughter.
The lawsuit filed in March claims that Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been conscious their 23-year-old son had murdered his associate Gabby, 22, and selected to not act.
Months after the criticism was filed, the Petito household filed a movement in December to incorporate the Laundries’ household lawyer Steven Bertolino as a co-defendant within the go well with.
The Petito household determined to file the Second Amended Criticism so as to add Bertolino, believing he was additionally conscious of Gabby’s homicide earlier than her physique was discovered.
Pat Reilly, a lawyer for the Petito household, defined in December: “It’s believed that on the time the September 14, 2021 assertion was issued, the Laundries and Steven Bertolino knew that Gabby Petito was lifeless.
“And that underneath these circumstances, the assertion was insensitive, cold-hearted, and outrageous.”
On September 14, 2021, a lawyer representing the Laundries launched the next assertion: “On behalf of the Laundrie household it’s our hope that the seek for Miss Petito is profitable and that Miss Petito is re-united together with her household.”
“On the recommendation of counsel the Laundrie household is remaining within the background at this juncture and can have no additional remark.”
Earlier than Gabby’s stays have been found on September 19, 2021, the Petitos’ lawyer learn a letter at a information briefing three days previous to the Laundrie household, begging for assist in the case.
“Please, in case you or your loved ones have any incapacity left, please, inform us the place Gabby is situated,” Richard Stafford stated.
“Inform us if we’re even wanting in the precise place. All we wish is for Gabby to come back dwelling. Please assist us make that occur.”
Chris and Roberta have since filed a protection in opposition to the movement so as to add Bertolino as a co-defendant, arguing that the lawyer, who acted as Brian’s legal professional earlier than he died, is aware of extra in regards to the Petito case than his purchasers.
“Mr. Bertolino’s data is actually way over that of the Laundrie mother and father,” the response filed on Tuesday stated.
“But, he can’t disclose what he is aware of or the the reason why he took sure actions as a result of, even after Brian Laundrie’s dying, Mr. Bertolino nonetheless owes an obligation of confidentiality to Brian Laundrie.”
Brian was discovered with a self-inflicted gunshot wound on October 20, 2021, together with a pocket book the place he allegedly confessed to killing Gabby.
The Laundries declare, partially, that making Bertolino a co-defendant within the lawsuit will flip the household and their legal professionals in opposition to each other.
“Pitting the Laundry and Mr. Bertolino as co-defenders undoubtedly creates a battle as a result of each have an curiosity in defending themselves in opposition to the potential detriment of the opposite,” the response stated.
“The Laundries ought to be capable to defend this case with out worrying whether or not their legal professional will take an antagonistic place in opposition to them.”
“The Plaintiffs should select to both proceed in opposition to the Laundries or Mr. Bertolino as a result of they can’t each be liable.”
Bertolino introduced up the significance of attorney-client privilege when talking to the WFLA.
He stated: “One ought to count on that attorneys are confided in.”
“That is why our system affords purchasers privileged communications and legal professionals sure immunities.”
Choose Hunter W. Carroll will hear the movement on whether or not so as to add Bertolino as a co-defendant within the lawsuit on January 24.
Bertolino advised The US Solar that he has “no touch upon this problem.”