Moab police say they'll fight Gabby Petito family's $50M lawsuit

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MOAB — Moab city officials on Wednesday released their response to Gabby Petito's family's intent to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

This week marks the deadline for the city's response to the filing, meaning it could agree to pay the $50 million or fight the case in court. Wednesday night, city officials said they'll do the latter.

The Petitos announced in August they want $50 million in damages from the Moab Police Department and other city officers.

Moab city officials say that its "officers acted with kindness, respect and empathy toward Ms. Petito" and they aren't responsible for her death.

The case of Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old who was found dead last year in Wyoming has gripped the nation. Her boyfriend and "vanlife" travel partner Brian Laundrie died by suicide weeks later with a note by his side, admitting to killing her.

Two weeks before her death, Petito and Laundrie were in Moab and had an encounter with Moab police officers.

Petito's family alleges officers could have saved their daughter's life. While the city of Moab says Petito's death is a tragedy, they say officers are not responsible for her eventual murder.

"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."

With the city vowing to fight a lawsuit, the Petito family could officially file any day now.

Correction: In an earlier version, Brian Laundrie's name was incorrectly spelled Landrie.


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