The grieving mothers of three Americans who died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning while staying at an AirBnB in Mexico City plan to sue the rental company.
Kandace Florence and Jordan Marshall, both 28, and Courtez Hall, 33, were found dead at the vacation rental after traveling to Mexico to celebrate Dia de los Muertos in October.
In an interview with NBC News on Wednesday, their mothers spoke out for the first time since their children’s deaths, claiming that Airbnb should require carbon monoxide detectors to be placed in all of their rental homes.
“I can’t imagine why my daughter isn’t here today,” said Freida Florence, Kandace’s mother. “There’s no excuse. There’s no excuse, it cost $30. If I had known, I would have bought it for her.”
Local autopsy reports confirmed the three friends died from the deadly poison. Atlanta-based mothers’ attorney L. Chris Stewart said it was caused by a broken water heater.
The lawsuit, which has not yet been filed, wants Airbnb to mandate carbon monoxide detectors in its listings. Stewart told NBC that the rental giant has been sued over the same matter in the past.
Airbnb already regulates guns and parties, the attorney said, which makes adding the detectors a no-brainer. Stewart said he believes the company doesn’t need the detectors because it would force them to pull listings from its website, which would eat into profits.
“It’s always about money. They only talk about money, which is why this lawsuit comes along,” he said.
In a statement to NBC, Airbnb said the Mexico City property has been placed on lockdown and that it has been in touch with the US Embassy in Mexico.
“This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts are with the families and loved ones who are grieving such an unimaginable loss,” the company said. “Our priority right now is to support those affected while authorities investigate what happened and we stand ready to assist with their investigations in any way we can.”
Airbnb added that it already offers smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to all eligible hosts and has given away over 200,000 of them. They added that all of their hosts will be asked to confirm they have both.
However, for these moms, it just isn’t enough.
“We can never get our babies back. But we really want to make sure no other family has to deal with this,” said Jennifer Marshall, mother of Jordan Marshall. “The way we lost our children is devastating. You go from sadness to anger because it could have been so easily avoided.”
On the night of October 30, Kadance Florence was talking to her boyfriend on the phone when she said she wasn’t feeling well and said something was wrong, WAVY reported. The call was then dropped and Florence’s friend, who was back in the US, was unable to reach her.
He contacted the Airbnb host to request a welfare check and police showed up at the apartment that night. Officers noticed a strong smell of gas and found all three friends dead.
Marshall and Hall were both educators in New Orleans and Florence was a small business owner from Virginia Beach.
“These are the three examples of how parents want their children to be. We’ve lost a 12th grade teacher, a 7th grade teacher, an entrepreneur who built a business from nothing. We want that. These people helped the next generation,” Stewart said.
In May, three American tourists died from carbon monoxide poisoning while staying at a Sandals luxury resort in the Bahamas.
Tennessee-born couple Michael Phillips, 68, and Robbie Phillips, 65, and Florida resident Vincent Chiarella, 64, were found dead May 6 at the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort in Great Exuma.
The victims were found unresponsive in their rooms after seeking medical attention the night before because they felt ill, before returning to their villas.
In the US alone, about 430 people die each year from accidental CO poisoning, according to the CDC, and another 50,000 visit emergency rooms each year.
The gas is particularly dangerous because it is odorless, colorless and tasteless and can kill people and animals exposed to high concentrations in minutes.
Carbon monoxide can be found in CO fumes produced by “stoves, vehicles, generators, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, or the burning of charcoal or wood,” according to the CDC.
https://nypost.com/2022/11/30/families-of-three-americans-who-died-of-suspected-co-poisoning-in-mexico-city-suing-airbnb/ Families of three Americans who died in Mexico City from suspected CO poisoning are suing Airbnb