Family files lawsuit after 19-month-old girl dies from fentanyl exposure in Airbnb in Florida

Wednesday, March 8, 2023
Family files lawsuit after toddler dies from fentanyl exposure in Airbnb in Florida
Palm Beach County deputies and the medical examiner determined fentanyl was in 1-year-old Enora Lavenir's blood and her death was accidental.

WELLINGTON, Fla. -- A family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Airbnb after their toddler died from fentanyl while at 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 Lavenir family was visiting Florida in August of 2021 and rented out 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.

Palm Beach County deputies and the medical examiner determined fentanyl was in 1-year-old Enora Lavenir's blood and her death was accidental, WPBF reported.

During the investigation, officials recall going to that same house in July in reference to a loud party.

The lawsuit then claims that more than a week later, a man named Aaron Kornhauser booked the home.

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."

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The Lavenirs booked the home through Airbnb. That company said Kornhauser previously booked the property through another platform and that, "it was the first time the property had ever been booked via Airbnb."

The Lavenirs are suing Kornhauser, as well as the property owner, rental manager and rental platform.

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 rental company also said that the Lavenirs were the first guests to stay on the property by booking through Airbnb.

Scolaro said the family hopes to raise more awareness for families who plan to book through rental properties, and hope there will be more change.

"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."

In court filings, Kornhauser and the property owner denied the allegations in the complaint. As for the property on the Airbnb site, company officials said it is no longer active on their platform.

WPBF 25 News requested a response from the property owner, and his attorney said they have no comment at this time. WPBF 25 News reached out to Vrbo and is waiting to hear back. WPBF 25 News also reached out to Kornhauser and have not yet heard back.

A jury trial has been demanded for this case.