A family vacation ended in tragedy when the youngest member of the family was rushed to the hospital. The toddler ingested a small amount of fentanyl that had been located somewhere around the family’s Airbnb rental. The 19-month-old didn’t survive, and now the parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who are they suing, and who is to blame?
A Family Vacation Gone Terribly Wrong
In August 2021, Lydie and Boris Lavenir rented a four-bedroom lake house from Airbnb. The family planned to spend a vacation at the South Florida house with their five children. They traveled from the French island of Guadeloupe and flew into the Miami airport.
The day after their arrival, the Lavenirs put their 19-month-old daughter, Enora, down for a nap. When they checked on her later, they found her unresponsive and foaming at the mouth.
Enora was rushed to the hospital, but she did not survive.
The parents thought Enora died from sudden infant death syndrome — until they received the autopsy report.
The autopsy revealed the cause of death was acute fentanyl toxicity.
Are The Parents Responsible?
The Lavenirs say they took Enora directly from the airport to the rental house and didn’t take the toddler out of the house after their initial arrival. They believe Enora must have found and consumed the fentanyl in the rental house.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug that is dangerous and can be deadly even in small quantities.
The family says they had never heard of the drug before they learned it had killed their daughter.
According to USA TODAY, an investigation was done at the property and found no illicit drugs. Both of the parents were also drug tested. Each parent tested negative for drugs, and no trace amounts of drugs were found on any of their belongings.
“I am currently unable to determine how the child Enora Lavenir ingested the fentanyl, therefore I am unable to develop probable cause for abuse or neglect leading to the death of Enora,” a PBSO detective wrote in the most recent report.
The parents were not charged in their daughter’s death, and now, they seek to hold other parties accountable.
Who Is Facing the Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
More than a year after their daughter’s death, the Lavenirs filed a wrongful death lawsuit against:
- The owner of the rental property
- The manager of the rental property
- The man who rented the property before the Lavenir’s stay
The Lavenirs alleged that the property was not properly cleaned, drugs were present, and each party should be held accountable.
“If you are in the business of renting out homes and you tell people that it’s safe and secure and it’s sanitary and you end up having a baby killed as a result of (negligence), you should expect to be sued and rightfully so,” said the family’s Miami-based attorney Thomas Scolaro.
Related: How Do You Sue for Wrongful Death?
Will Anyone Be Held Accountable?
To prove negligence in a wrongful death case, the victim’s family must prove:
- A person or party’s negligence led to the deadly incident.
- The person or party was aware of an unsafe condition but failed to act.
- The negligence directly caused the incident.
- The incident led to financial or emotional damages.
- The person or party had a duty to provide a safe condition for the injured party.
The Lavenirs will need to prove that each party could have prevented the death of their daughter but failed to act.
Each party appears ready to fight the wrongful death lawsuit.
The prior renter says he cannot be held accountable for what happened in the house — which he booked through VRBO, not Airbnb — after he left. According to the New York Post, he admitted to having a party and said about 10 to 12 people stayed at the home over the course of his three-day visit.
An Airbnb spokesperson said the company had not done any bookings at the property before the Lavenir’s stay and pointed to the fact that the previous renter had used VRBO not Airbnb to book his stay.
Related: Examples of Wrongful Death Cases: Do You Have a Case?
Get Justice for Your Loved Ones
If you or a loved one experienced a loss due to the negligence of another person or party, you deserve justice. Talk to an experienced wrongful death or personal injury attorney to find out if you have a case worth fighting for.
To share the details of your case, schedule a free call with attorney TJ Grimaldi. All consultations are free and confidential. Contact us to schedule today or call us at 813-226-1023.