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THE parents of Gabby Petitio filed a civil lawsuit against Brian Laundries' parents shortly after his body was discovered.
The lawsuit was filed in Sarasota County, Florida, by their lawyer, Patrick J. Reilly.
Who is attorney Patrick Reilly?
Patrick Reilly is famously known as the lawyer of Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, Gabby Petito's parents.
A native of Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, he has been practicing law since 1980 and is licensed in both Florida and Pennsylvania.
In 1977,he graduated from Washington and Lee University, later obtaining his law degree from Cumberland School of Law of Samford University.
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After 33 years with Gross McGinley, LLP, he relocated his practice to Venice, Florida, and joined W. Russell Snyder to create Snyder & Reilly, Trial Lawyers.
According to his biography, he also serves as the President of the Sarasota County Bar Association South County Division and is the appointed City of Venice Special Magistrate for Code Enforcement.
When Reilly is not in court, he can typically be found spending time with his wife, Malka, his three children, and five grandchildren.
Why are Gabby's parents suing the Laundries?
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The case of Gabby Petito shocked the nation in 2021.
At the time, she was reported missing after her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, returned home from a cross-country road trip without her.
Her body was eventually found, and shortly after, so was Brian's.
Gabby's death was ruled a homicide by strangulation, and it was later revealed that Brian killed her after police found his confession in a notebook.
Brian's body was found at Florida's Carlton Reserve in October 2021 after he died from an apparent suicide.
As a result of Gabby's death, her parents filed a civil lawsuit against the Laundries, claiming that their silence and lawyer's comments, while allegedly knowing Gabby was dead, provided false hope and invoked emotional distress.
On June 30, 2022, a Florida judge denied the Laundries' request to dismiss the civil suit, claiming that Steven Bertolino's statement was "objectively outrageous."
The statement in question was when Bertolino said: "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."
Judge Hunter W Carroll wrote in June: "Because the Laundries' statement by their attorney [Steven Bertolino] in the context of the unique faces of this case is objectively outrageous, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs [Petitos] have stated causes of actions for intentional infliction of emotional distress against the Laundries.
"If the facts of this case truly were about silence with no affirmative act by the Laundries, the Court would have resolved this case in the Laundries’ favor on the concept of legal duty.
"But they did not stay silent," the judge continued.
It is unclear what Gabby's parents are seeking in the civil suit.
What does Patrick Reilly specialize in?
While practicing in Pennsylvania, Reilly was known for arguing complex civil, commercial, and criminal litigation cases.
In 2002, he famously obtained a $2.5million verdict in Gagliardo v. Connaught Laboratories, Inc., an employment discrimination and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act case, according to his biography.
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In 2015, he then obtained a $1.4million verdict in Research Systems v. Cold Edge Technologies, a theft of trade secrets case.
That same year, he also won Mancini v. Northampton County, et al, an employment discrimination and civil rights case, and was able to win a $94,000 verdict along with $200,000 in counsel fees.
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