Gabby Petito's Parents File $50 Million Lawsuit Against The Moab Police

By Bill Galluccio

November 3, 2022

Gabby Petito
Photo: Moab Police Department

The parents of Gabby Petito have formally filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Moab Police Department. The $50 million lawsuit alleges that the department failed to protect their daughter after they responded to a domestic violence call just two weeks before she was murdered by her fiancé Brian Laundrie.

The lawsuit alleges that officers misapplied Utah's domestic violence laws and improperly determined that Petito was the primary aggressor in the incident.

The lawsuit specifically calls out officer Eric Pratt, an alleged domestic abuser, for being "fundamentally biased" against Petito as he questioned the couple.

"Gabby did not have to die," the lawsuit says. "Gabby would still be alive if Officer Pratt had not intentionally coached Gabby and manipulated the investigation to try to find loopholes that would allow him to disregard the mandates of Utah law and his duty to protect Gabby. Defendants' negligence deprived Gabby of her safety and ultimately her life."

The City of Moab denied the claims and vowed to vigorously defend the police department.

"The attorneys for the Petito family seem to suggest that somehow our officers could see into the future based on this single interaction. In truth, on Aug. 12, no one could have predicted the tragedy that would occur weeks later and hundreds of miles away, and the City of Moab will ardently defend against this lawsuit," the city said in a statement.

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