Family sues Airbnb after baby dies from fentanyl in Florida
A devastated French family is suing Airbnb after their 19-month-old daughter died from a fentanyl overdose at a home they had rented while vacationing in Florida.
Lydie and Boris Lavenir had put their toddler, Enora, down for a nap after spending a lively morning playing with her four siblings at a lake house in lake house in Wellington in August 2021.
When Lydie walked into her daughter’s bedroom two hours later to wake her up, she was horrified to find Enora’s face blue, with foam streaming from her mouth, according to The Washington Post.
“Enora’s dead,” Lydie screamed.
The panicked family immediately called 911, but when responders arrived it was already too late.
An autopsy revealed there was a lethal amount of fentanyl in Enora’s system. The Lavenirs, who are from the French Island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, had never even heard of the drug before, according to The Washington Post.
It’s a mystery how the girl came into contact with the killer opioid — which can be fatal in the smallest of doses and has caused a national crisis.
No traces of fentanyl were ever found at the rental home, and investigators suspected that Enora’s parents could be responsible, the Lavenirs told the newspaper. But the couple tested negative for the drug, and no traces were found on any of their belongings, according to police reports.
The previous renters of the home admitted to throwing a party where there was cocaine present, but nothing that indicated those drugs killed Enora. Neighbors recalled that there was a party about two weeks before the family’s arrival, investigators said.
“I am currently unable to determine how the child Enora Lavenir ingested the fentanyl,” an investigator wrote in the latest report, according to WaPo. The girl’s manner of death has been deemed accidental.
The family initially did not consider that drugs killed their daughter. They thought someonthing may have happened on her first airplane ride, and later believed she had died of sudden infant death syndrome before receiving the autopsy results, according to WaPo.
Investigators sifted through Enora’s medical records and inspected her body for any bruising. They traced the family’s movements, from their arrival at Miami Airport to the next day they spent at the home.
Enora’s bottle tested negative for fentanyl.
While police have not filed any criminal charges in the case, Enora’s family is suing Airbnb, the property owner, the rental manager and the previous renter who hosted the party. The suit claims fentanyl was ingested at the party, and the home was never properly cleaned up, the paper reported.
The family’s attorney, Thomas Scolaro, told the Washington Post that his clients logically have come to the conclusion that partygoers brought the fentanyl. Identifying who brought the drugs into the home, he said, is not his concern.
“The only thing we have here is our common sense,” Scolaro said. “It was definitely in that unit, that Airbnb. Which particular person left the drugs is frankly not anything I’m trying to prove. What I want to show is Airbnb provided no cleanup, no warning, no measure of safety for the family.”
Lars Noah, a law professor at the University of Florida, told the paper that pinning the previous renters with bringing fentanyl into the house sounds monstrously difficult under these circumstances,”
Airbnb has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit. In a statement to The Post, the company said: its “hearts go out to the Lavenir family and their loved ones for their devastating loss.”
Both the homeowner and the previous renter blamed Enora’s parents in their responses in court.
The renter, who booked through Vrbo, claimed he cannot be held responsible for what happened in the house after he left — including whether or not it was cleaned.