ALL NEWS

Skordas: The second Petito family lawsuit may be about punishment

May 9, 2022, 11:58 AM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:20 am

Petito lawsuit...

Gabby Petito's mom, Nichole Schmidt. Photo credit: Paradise Afshar/CNN.

Gabby Petito, credit CNN, Paradise Afshar

The mother of Gabby Petito has filed a second lawsuit related to the death of her 22-year-old daughter.  Police said that Petito was killed by her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, while on a cross-country trip two years ago. Laundrie reportedly confessed to the murder in a notebook found after he took his own life.

The family’s first lawsuit was filed against the parents of Brian Laundrie. This suit is against the estate of Brian Laundrie. It brings up a lot of questions for KSL At Night host and defense attorney Greg Skordas, starting with, can parents be liable for the crimes of their children?

Parents and the crimes of their children

“The short answer to that is yes,” Skordas told KSL NewsRadio. “But this is going to be a very, very difficult case because it will be hard for the Petito family to say that the parents had culpability in their daughter’s death.”

Skordas said that the Laundries may have had culpability in hiding their son after the fact or obstructing justice. But if they didn’t do anything to actually contribute to Gabby Petito’s death, it will be hard to prove in a lawsuit that they are legally responsible for depriving the Petitos of their daughter’s companionship.

What does it mean to sue someone’s estate? “What they’re saying in suing the estate is that Brian Laundrie is ultimately responsible,” Skordas said, “and his estate, it may not have much, but his estate would be what’s leftover from his life insurance and anything he owned.

“His parents are really the deep pocket if there is a deep pocket here.”

“You just can’t do what these people did.”

The Petito lawsuit itself doesn’t ask for a specific monetary amount. “At some point they will have to articulate a monetary amount,” Skordas said, “but I think they’re just trying to get these people’s attention and get law enforcement’s attention, and even just the public’s attention, and say ‘You can’t just do what these people did here. You can’t hide your son out after such a horrible act.’

“They may just be wanting to make a statement here. Sometimes lawsuits are all about that,” Skordas said.

The lawsuit may very well be about trying to punish the Laundrie family, Skordas said. “It will cost the Laundrie family a lot of money and time and resources and embarrassment, and maybe that’s what the Petito family is looking for here.”

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

A pail rests next to caution tape on a beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla., on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2...

Associated Press

Young girl killed when a hole she dug in the sand collapsed on a Florida beach, authorities said

A young girl died Tuesday when a deep hole she was digging collapsed on her at a south Florida beach, authorities said.

1 hour ago

Sensitive material bill passes...

Tim Vandenack, KSL.com

Utah Senate, House reach compromise on ‘sensitive materials’ bill

The Senate gave the reworked "sensitive materials" measure the green light in a 19-8 vote on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024.

2 hours ago

K9 officers stand with police dogs next to a Life Flight Helicopter. A new program by Intermountain...

ALEX CABRERO

New Life Flight program will fly police dogs injured in the line of duty

A new program by Intermountain Health will allow for any police K-9 injured in the line of duty to be flown by Life Flight.

2 hours ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018....

MEAD GRUVER Associated Press

A Colorado man is dead after a pet Gila monster bite

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death if the creature's venom was the cause.

3 hours ago

Visitors stand at the closed gates leading to the Eiffel Tower, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 in Paris....

OLEG CETINIC Associated Press

Eiffel Tower operator warns the landmark is closed as strike turns visitors away for a second day

A strike at the Eiffel Tower over poor financial management turned away visitors on Tuesday for the second consecutive day.

11 hours ago

House fire in St. George. Initial investigations suggest it was accidental....

Derrick Jones

Family displaced after a fire in their St. George home

Emergency fire crews responded to a St. George fire after a passerby saw smoke from the garage of a home. 

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Skordas: The second Petito family lawsuit may be about punishment