Three families announced a planned lawsuit against Airbnb after their loved ones allegedly died from carbon monoxide poisoning while staying in an apartment in Mexico City.
The trio’s family, who are said to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning, are now urging the short-term rental company to require detectors at properties it lists to prevent future tragedies.
“Our primary goal is to educate those who plan to use short-term rentals like Airbnb,” said Jennifer Marshall, whose son Jordan Marshall died while renting Airbnb. “We want to put pressure on Airbnb to regulate and mandate carbon monoxide detectors in the future. This is the only way we can think of to honor our children.”
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Attorney L. Chris Stewart of the Atlanta-based law firm Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys also said that a wrongful death lawsuit is being planned against Airbnb as a result of the incident.
“We’re asking Airbnb to require all of their listings to have detectors,” he said. “They created international and national bans on parties, guns and cameras. You could also easily arrange carbon monoxide detectors. They know they killed people in their rented apartments. We know of at least three other cases.”
Stewart said they are awaiting more information from investigators in Mexico to identify “all of the defendants” before filing the lawsuit.
On Oct. 30, high school friends Jordan Marshall and Kandace Florence, along with Marshall’s New Orleans friend Courtez Hall, were found dead in their Airbnb high-rise apartment in an upscale neighborhood while visiting Mexico for “Dia de Muertos” Day of the Dead .
According to news reports, Florence contacted her boyfriend in the US to say she was feeling sick and he contacted her Airbnb host to check on them. Authorities later found all three dead.
“Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones who are grieving such an unimaginable loss. Our priority right now is to support those affected while the authorities investigate what happened,” the online rental company said in its statement.
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Airbnb said it has suspended listings and canceled upcoming reservations pending investigation into the incident.
Airbnb said it has not yet confirmed that carbon monoxide exposure was responsible for the deaths, but noted that it is running a global program that provides hosts with free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, of which more than 200,000 have been ordered so far .
Airbnb said it is also working with Mexican officials to promote safety practices among hosts and is updating its detector program to expedite deliveries in the country.
It added that the site allows potential guests to filter their search for hosts that report they have detectors and flags any bookings where none exist.
Jennifer Marshall said she hopes the deaths of her son and his friend will set a cautionary tale for other travelers.
“We want people to rethink how they vacation,” Marshall said. “While we are unable to enforce any action by Airbnb, which would be disappointing, we hope this raises awareness among many people. If we can’t rely on businesses to prioritize the safety of their customers, we need to make sure we do it for ourselves.”
Freida Florence, Kandace’s mother, said highlighting Airbnb’s “shortcomings” is a priority.
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“We are asking people to take precautions,” she said. “They do not require or require their hosts to guarantee a carbon monoxide detector, and they should. This really could save lives. We don’t want other families to experience what we experienced.”
Florence also urged people to urge lawmakers to help solve the problem.
“Our companies know better and should do better,” she said.
Airbnb did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
News of the deaths comes just months after three Americans died of carbon monoxide poisoning at a Sandals resort on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas.
Two couples reported feeling ill on the night of May 5 and were examined by medical staff, police said.
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The next day, Tennessee’s Michael Phillips, 68, and his wife Robbie Phillips, 65, and Florida’s Vincent Paul Chiarella, 64, were found dead in their homes.
Chiarella’s wife Donnis, 65, was flown to the capital Nassau for further treatment and was the sole survivor of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.