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Airbnb sued over fentanyl death of 19-month-old girl in Wellington

Airbnb sued over fentanyl death of 19-month-old Enora Lavenir in Wellington on Aug. 7, 2021. (Courtesy: Attorney Tom Scolaro)
Airbnb sued over fentanyl death of 19-month-old Enora Lavenir in Wellington on Aug. 7, 2021. (Courtesy: Attorney Tom Scolaro)
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The family of a 19-month-old girl who died from acute fentanyl toxicity at a rental home in Wellington filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Airbnb, the property owner, the manager of the home, and the previous renter.

Court records show Boris and Lydie Lavenir rented the home at 1618 The 12th Fairway in Wellington for four days in August, 2021. It was for a family vacation in Florida. The family of seven checked in on the afternoon of Aug. 6., and received the keys to the home from rental property manager Yulia A. Timpy. Timpy, according to the lawsuit, managed the home owned by Ronald Cortamilia, who is also named in the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, the day after the family checked in, the mother found her daughter, Enora Lavenir, unresponsive and foaming at the mouth. "While crying and screaming for help, Lydia performed chest compressions on Enora, but to no avail," the lawsuit stated. Emergency crews rushed the girl to the hospital where she died.

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"The medical examiner detected a lethal level of Fentanyl in Enora's blood and determined that her cause of death was acute Fentanyl toxicity," the lawsuit stated. "Toxicology readings indicated a quick death, ruling out the possibility that Enora came into contact with Fentanyl anywhere else but in the Airbnb rental."

In the lawsuit, the family claimed the Airbnb home had a history of being used as a party house. In the days before Enora's death, the lawsuit claimed Aaron Scott Kornhauser, of Tampa, who is also named as a defendant, rented the home as he stayed in town for a concert from July 30 through Aug. 1, 2021, for six adults. The lawsuit claims approximately 11 people stayed at the home, and that Timpy allowed them all to check in.

The lawsuit claimed Kornhauser allowed others to bring illicit drugs to the premises. "Upon information and belief, the substances brought to and used on the property included, but were not limited to, powder cocaine, Fentanyl, and marijuana," the lawsuit stated. "These drugs were consumed throughout the subject premises, including in the bedrooms and on the kitchen counter."

The lawsuit also mentioned accounts from neighbors who said the home was used for a large party of "young males and females" in their twenties in late June or early July. The home was also rented to a woman for seven adults on July 19, 2021. Just before 2 a.m., deputies with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office responded to a call about a "large loud party" at the home.

Among the allegations in the lawsuit, the family claimed Airbnb "possessed the actual or constructive knowledge that advanced cleaning and decontamination procedures were required to adequately sanitize their rentals and eliminate the fatal risk posed to future guests and children by drugs and/or residue."

The lawsuit also claimed Airbnb "assumed and/or owed a duty to take reasonable care for the safety of its guests, including the Lavenirs, to provide a rental free of lethal drugs an/or residue on the property, and to provide sufficient warning of the risk of harm."

The family claims Airbnb is grossly negligent for failing "to properly inspect, safeguard, and maintain" the home ; "to adequately clean, decontaminate, and/or sanitize" the home; "to change and/or adequately clean the bed sheets" in the home; and failing to warn the Lavenir family that "lethal drugs had been used in the property," among other allegations.

Cortamilia, Timpy, and Kornhauser all face similar allegations. Cortamilia faces an additional "vicarious liability claim" for the "negligent acts and omissions of its employees, representatives, agents, and servants."

The family wants a jury trial and damages in excess of the "Court's jurisdictional minimum limit of $30,000, exclusive of costs and interests."

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