The ongoing lawsuit filed by the parents of Gabby Petito, against Steven Bertolino and the Laundries has scheduled depositions for August. This development comes shortly after the judge denied motions to dismiss from all defendants.

The lawsuit alleges that Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, the parents of Brian Laundrie, caused emotional distress to the Petito family through statements made during the search for Gabby Petito in 2021. Gabby and Brian were previously engaged and had embarked on a cross-country van tour, documenting their travels on social media.

Tragically, Gabby Petito was later found dead in a national park in Wyoming. Brian returned to stay with his parents in North Port and later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He left behind a written confession admitting to killing Gabby.

The Petito family previously settled a wrongful death lawsuit against Brian Laundrie’s estate for $3 million. The proceeds from the settlement will be directed towards the Gabby Petito Foundation, which was established by the family to support victims of domestic violence and abuse.

The current lawsuit focuses on emotional damages and names both Laundrie parents as defendants. Steven Bertolino, who served as the Laundries’ attorney in 2021, was added as a defendant earlier this year.

The main point of contention revolves around a statement made by Bertolino to the media in September 2021, expressing the Laundries’ desire for Gabby Petito to be “reunited with her family.” The Petitos claim that Brian had informed his family and Bertolino that Gabby was already deceased, and they argue that withholding this information caused emotional distress due to the public nature of the statement.

On August 16, the deposition of Steven Bertolino will take place outside of court at a mutually agreed-upon location, with attorneys representing Bertolino present. The testimony recorded during the depositions is expected to be referenced in the upcoming trial, which is currently scheduled for May 2024.

Circuit Judge Danielle Brewer extended the case’s preparation phase after Bertolino was added as a defendant, allowing all parties sufficient time to engage in the discovery process.