Relatives of tourists who died of carbon monoxide poisoning set to sue Airbnb

​​Kandace Florence, Jordan Marshall and Courtez Hall were in Mexico City for its Day of the Dead celebrations, a holiday observed on Nov. 1 and 2.

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The mothers of three Americans who died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning while vacationing at an Airbnb in Mexico have declared a lawsuit against the vacation rental industry giant.

​​Kandace Florence, 28, Jordan Marshall, 28, and Courtez Hall, 33, a friend of Marshall’s, were in Mexico City for its Day of the Dead celebrations, a holiday observed annually on Nov. 1 and 2, theGrio previously reported.

According to NBC News, Freida Florence, Kandace’s mother; Jennifer Marshall, Jordan’s mother; and Ceola Hall, the mother of Courtez believe their children’s deaths were easily preventable.

Airbnb Mexico City
The Airbnb logo is displayed on a computer screen. In an Airbnb property in Mexico City, three Black travelers were found dead in late October from what appears to be carbon monoxide poisoning. (Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images)

“We can never get our babies back. But we really want to ensure that no other family has to deal with this,” Marshall said, according to NBC. “The way that we lost our children, I mean, it’s devastating. You go from grief to rage, because this could have so easily been avoided.”

The forthcoming lawsuit will attempt to compel Airbnb to require functional carbon monoxide detectors at every one of its units worldwide.

According to theGrio, Kandace mentioned to her boyfriend during a phone conversation on Oct. 30 that she wasn’t feeling well. When the call dropped and he could not get in touch with her again, he contacted the Airbnb host and requested a welfare check for the guests.

Kandace and Jordan were childhood best friends in Virginia City, and Jordan and Courtez worked together as educators in New Orleans.

NBC reported that L. Chris Stewart, the mothers’ attorney, said a defective water heater was to blame for the Americans’ carbon monoxide poisoning. He claimed Airbnb was aware of the issue because of a previous lawsuit.

The Atlanta-based attorney said that since Airbnb controls parties and guns, requiring carbon monoxide alarms should be a corporate policy to protect consumers — but added that their reason for not doing so is probably that the company would have to pull listings.

“It’s always about money,” Stewart said, NBC reported. “They only speak money, which is why this lawsuit is coming.”

Airbnb has suspended the listing in Mexico City.

“This is a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts are with the families and loved ones as they grieve such an unimaginable loss,” an Airbnb spokesperson told theGrio. “Our priority right now is supporting those impacted as the authorities investigate what happened, and we stand ready to assist with their inquiries however we can.”

According to NBC, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are provided to all qualified hosts as part of Airbnb’s global detector program. All hosts are urged to ensure they have the sensors.

In the United States, more than 400 individuals pass away annually, and tens of thousands more are sickened from carbon monoxide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contends such poisoning is almost 100% avoidable.

Like the flu, early symptoms can include headaches, nausea and dizziness.

Frequently, a broken or misused common appliance is the source of carbon monoxide poisoning. Inadequate ventilation and mechanical faults can cause gas to leak from several sources, including furnaces, automobile engines, stoves, generators, barbecues, water heaters and laundry dryers.

The gas has no smell, color or flavor and may kill at high concentrations in minutes.

A functioning carbon monoxide monitor, which will signal an alert if danger is present, is the best way to prevent falling victim.

“These are the three examples of what parents want their children to be. We lost a 12th-grade teacher, a seventh-grade teacher, an entrepreneur who built a company from nothing,” Stewart said, NBC reported. “That’s what we want. These people were helping the next generation.”


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