A family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Airbnb after their toddler died as a result of fentanyl poisoning while staying in a rented property.
“A 19-month-old baby dies because of some folks wanted to get a little bit higher than high. No, that’s not good,” said Thomas Scolaro, that attorney for Lavenir family.
The Lavenirs were in Florida in August 2021 and rented an Airbnb in Wellington.
“They’re there for 24 hours, the child never leaves the inside of the unit. And after she’s put down for a nap in the early afternoon, the parents see her with foaming at the mouth and a lifeless body,” Scolaro said.
According to WPBF, Palm Beach County deputies and the medical examiner determined fentanyl was in 1-year-old Enora Lavenir’s blood and her death was accidental.
During the investigation, officials recalled going to the same house in July for a loud party.
The lawsuit then claims that a man named Aaron Kornhauser booked the house more than a week later.
Palm Beach County deputies said Kornhauser told them, “that the group of individuals who stayed at the residence had used cocaine in the residence and marijuana (weed) was also used in the residence… He is familiar with fentanyl and stated that there is no fentanyl in the residence.”
The Lavenirs reserved the house on Airbnb. According to that company, Kornhauser had previously booked the property through another platform, and this was “the first time the property had ever been booked via Airbnb.”
Kornhauser, as well as the property owner, rental manager, and rental platform, are being sued by the Lavenirs.
WPBF 25 News reached out to Airbnb for a comment and a spokesperson responded, “Our hearts go out to the Lavenir family and their loved ones for their devastating loss.” The Lavenirs were also the first guests to stay on the property after booking through Airbnb, according to the rental company.
Scolaro stated that the family hopes to raise more awareness for families who plan to book through rental properties and that more change will occur.
“They want folks to be given some sort of warning and they want some systems in place that if there’s drug-fueled parties, that people are given some sort of notice that this house as an asterisk or a warning,” he said. “When you turn it over to the next group, that every surface is wiped down, that every sheet is changed. That it’s safe, sanitary and secure for families and children to come next time.”
Kornhauser and the property owner both denied the allegations in the complaint in court filings. According to Airbnb officials, the property is no longer available on their platform.
WPBF 25 News reached out to the property owner’s attorney, who said he had no comment at this time. WPBF 25 News has reached out to Vrbo and is awaiting a response. WPBF 25 News reached out to Kornhauser as well, but has yet to hear back.
In this case, a jury trial has been requested.
Leave a Reply