The family of Gabby Petito will file wrongful death lawsuit in Utah, according to attorneys
Salt Lake City— The family of Gabby Petito has retained the law firm of Parker & McConkie to represent them with respect to claims arising from Gabby’s encounter with Moab City Police Department while in Utah in August of 2021 and her subsequent death.
James McConkie, one of the attorneys working on the case says “While the full evidence has not yet been made public when it is released, it will clearly show that if the officers had been properly trained and followed the law, Gabby would still be alive today. Failure to follow the law can have deadly consequences, as it did in this case.” He pointed out that “Moab City Police Department has been plagued by high turnover, lack of leadership and dangerous mismanagement for years. Despite these chronic problems with protecting victims of domestic violence in their community, the Moab City Police Department has neglected its duty to provide the training and resources its officers need to do their job. This is an institutional failure plain and simple.”
An independent investigator, Captain Brandon Ratcliffe of the Price City Police Department, was asked to conduct an independent investigation. Brian Stewart, one of the lead attorneys in this case says, “We agree with the findings of the independent investigation that the Moab City police officers failed in their duty to protect Gabby. Due to lack of training and access to critical domestic violence resources, the officers failed to properly investigate the reported domestic assault and, thus failed to fully appreciate or respond to Gabby’s life-threatening situation.”
Stewart says, “The Petito family believes that it is important as a society to hold our governmental institutions to account for such failures and to work toward changes to protect victims of domestic abuse and violence and prevent such tragedies in the future.” Gabby’s mother, Nichole says, “I think Gabby’s story has touched a lot of people and she’s saving lives. I get people messaging me all the time that they were inspired by her to get out of a relationship.” Gabby’s family has established the Gabby Petito Foundation to promote a greater understanding of the dangers associated with intimate partner violence.
They are working keep her memory alive to raise attention about the soaring rates of domestic abuse and to effect change by providing information about domestic violence and holding public institutions accountable.