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Brian Laundrie's Family Lawyer Demands 'Immunity' In Court War With Gabby Petito's Parents

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Source: @gabspetito/Instagram

Feb. 24 2023, Published 4:45 p.m. ET

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A lawyer representing Brian Laundrie's family is seeking immunity in a civil lawsuit brought forth by Gabby Petito's parents, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Steven Bertolino is asking for the dismissal of an amended complaint filed by Petitio's mother and father, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, which accuses him of fueling their emotional distress in the wake of Gabby's shocking disappearance and murder.

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brian laundrie family lawyer demands immunity civil suit
Source: @gabspetito/Instagram

Petito and Schmidt previously accused Christopher and Roberta Laundrie of issuing false and misleading statements through their attorney days before Gabby's body was found in Wyoming.

Attorneys for Gabby's parents accused the Laundries of already knowing their daughter was deceased by the time Bertolino gave a public statement in September 2021.

"It is our understanding that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming," Bertolino shared at the time. "On behalf of the Laundrie family, it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family."

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brian laundrie family lawyer demands immunity civil suit
Source: @gabspetito/Instagram
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Gabby's parents noted they found the statement "insensitive, cold-hearted and outrageous" as they believe the Laundrie family was well aware their daughter was no longer alive after the couple documented their van life travels during an ill-fated cross-country road trip from which only he temporarily returned.

Laundrie ultimately shot and killed himself. He was found dead in October 2021 and admitted to strangling Petito to death in a suicide note, calling it a merciful act while addressing the mistakes he made prior to their final moments.

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Source: Steven Bertolino/Local NewsX/TMX / MEGA
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"Thus, after much consideration, the parents of Gabby Petito filed a Motion for Leave of Court this afternoon asking the court for permission to file a Second Amended Complaint to add Steven Bertolino as a defendant in the action," the court docs stated, as first reported by Law & Crime.

Lawyers for Bertolino, however, argued his "expression of hope and prayer was not reckless" in a motion to dismiss the amended complaint before 12th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Danielle Brewer, noting he has litigation privileges.

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Source: @bizarre_design_/Instagram
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"The 'four corners' of the Second Amended Complaint do not establish a viable cause of action against Mr. Bertolino under Florida law. The purported conduct at issue is not outrageous," the motion viewed by RadarOnline.com stated. "Mr. Bertolino acted in a privileged context and those actions were performed in a legally permissible way."

The legal drama between families rages on months after both parties previously reached a $3 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit.

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