Airbnb urged to require carbon monoxide devices after 3 die
NEW ORLEANS — Family members of three tourists who died while staying at an Airbnb in Mexico City, apparently of carbon monoxide poisoning, urged the short-term rental company Thursday to require detectors in properties it lists to prevent future tragedies.
” Our main goal is to spread the word to all those who plan to use short-term rentals such as Airbnb,” Jennifer Marshall, whose son Jordan Marshall was one of the victims, stated. “We want to pressure Airbnb to regulate and mandate carbon dioxide detectors in the future. It’s the only way that we can think of to honor our kids. “
Lawyer L. Chris Stewart, of the Atlanta-based firm Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys, stated that a wrongful-death lawsuit is being planned against Airbnb and other companies as a result. He stated that we are asking Airbnb to require all listings to have detectors. “They have established international and national bans for parties, weapons, and cameras. They could also mandate carbon monoxide detectors. They know they have been killing people in their rental properties. We know of at least three other cases.”
Stewart said however that they are awaiting information from investigators in Mexico to determine “all the defendants” before filing the suit.
The three victims were Kandace Florence, 28, from Virginia Beach, Virginia, her long-time friend Jordan Marshall, 28,, who was also from Virginia Beach and was teaching in New Orleans; Courtez Hall, 33,, who also taught in New Orleans. They were visiting Mexico for Day of the Dead. They stayed at a vacation rental in a posh area of Mexico City.
According to news reports, Florence contacted her boyfriend back in the States to say she was feeling sick, and he contacted her Airbnb host to go check on them. All three were later found dead by authorities.
In a statement Airbnb stated that it had suspended the listing and canceled any future reservations while an investigation was conducted. This is a terrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families as they grieve this loss. The company stated that its priority is to support those affected while the authorities investigate the incident. They are available to help with their inquiries in any way possible.
Airbnb said it has not yet confirmed that carbon monoxide exposure was responsible for the deaths but noted that it operates a global program making free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors available to hosts, more than 200,000 of which have been ordered so far.
Airbnb stated that it is working with Mexican officials in order to promote safety among hosts and that it is updating its detector program in order to speed up shipments to the country.
The site allows prospective guests to filter their search for hosts with detectors and flags bookings that are not.
Jennifer Marshall said she hoped her son’s and his friend’s deaths will be a cautionary tale for other travelers.
” We want people to rethink their vacations,” Marshall stated. “Even though we don’t expect any action from Airbnb, which would disappoint, we hope this raises awareness. Freida Florence is Kandace’s mother. She said that shining a spotlight on Airbnb’s “shortcomings”, is a priority.
“We ask people to take precautions,” she stated. “They don’t obligate their hosts to provide a carbon monoxide detector. They should. This could save lives. We don’t want any other families to experience what we’ve experienced.”
Florence also called for people to urge lawmakers to help address the issue.
” Our companies know better and should improve,” she stated.
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