Gabby Petito’s Family to File $50 Million Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Utah Police Interaction

The interaction with Moab police, body cam footage of which was previously made public, preceded Petito eventually going missing and later being found dead.

Gabby Petito memorial is pictured outside

Image via Getty/Stephanie Keith

Gabby Petito memorial is pictured outside

The family of Gabby Petito has announced plans to file a multimillion-dollar wrongful death lawsuit over a widely criticized interaction with police in Utah.

Per KTVX, the suit in question sees family members seeking a reported $50 million in damages. At a press conference that included members of the regional law firms of Parker & McConkie and Zimmerman Booher, attorney Jim McConkie said he and his partners had filed a notice of intent on Monday morning at the request of Petito’s parents.

“Gabby Petito’s parents have asked the law firms of Parker & McConkie and Zimmerman Booher to represent them in a lawsuit against the Moab police for their negligent failure to first understand the law and enforce it and second, for the wrongful death of their daughter,” he said. “In this regard, this morning we’ve filed a notice of claim which is the first step in initiating future litigation.”

View this video on YouTube

The suit was further described as merely one piece of a larger effort to raise awareness about domestic violence, both throughout the U.S. and elsewhere. Elsewhere in the press conference, which also included virtual appearances from Petito’s parents, lead attorney Brian Stewart said a suit of this type was the “only effective way” to push for departmental changes while also holding people accountable, including, in this instance, police.

Prior to going missing and eventually being discovered to have been killed by Brian Laundrie, police in Moab (as seen in body cam footage that was later made public) carried out a traffic stop involving the two.

In an interview with NBC News that aired via the Today show last week, Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, announced a donation of $100,000 from the Gabby Petito Foundation to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. She also addressed the release of journal excerpts from Laundrie.

“That was his character,” she said in the interview. “Even in his last moments, he wanted to make sure he looked like the good guy.”

Latest in Life