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Will Airbnb Face Liability for the Orinda Shootings?

Will Airbnb Face Liability for the Orinda Shootings?
Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

According to news reports, a woman rented a house in Orinda on Halloween allegedly to have a family reunion and to escape wildfire smoke in her area. Instead, she advertised on social media a “mansion party” in which over 100 people showed up. A shooting left five people dead and others in the hospital. The shooter or shooters are still at large. Family members of the deceased are wondering who to blame.

Who Will Face Criminal Liability?

According to the San Francisco Chronicle and an expert in criminal law, the only parties that will likely face criminal consequences are the shooter and his/her accomplices. While the woman who rented the house, the owners of the property, and Airbnb may all face civil charges, their potential negligence is likely not severe enough to be criminal.

That being said, attorneys are expecting lawsuits to emerge from this tragedy.

The Case Against Airbnb

At least one wrongful death lawsuit has already been filed against Airbnb. The plaintiff states:

They knew [of the risk], they ignored it, they took action once five people died of collateral damage.”

The civil complaint cites a history of incidents at short-term rentals over the last several months. Backing up this claim, The San Francisco Chronicle has documented 42 shootings inside or just outside of short-term rental properties over the past six-months, 17 of which were fatal. In civil law, this may be enough to support a pattern and establish Airbnb’s negligence.

Attorney Schwartz Weighs In

As stated in the San Francisco Chronicle, Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook attorney Andrew Schwartz stated, “Without all the facts, it’s hard to determine if any of the parties would face civil liability, but there are red flags.”

Mr. Schwartz goes on to explain:

That’s the problem with unregulated industries such as Airbnb and Uber. There is very little, if any, oversight. Airbnb makes it easy to rent out your house and then takes their share of the proceeds but does absolutely no vetting of the renters. It appears to me that both the homeowner and Airbnb face potential liability depending upon what we learn, once the facts are sorted out.”

Since the shootings in Orinda, Airbnb has announced measures that should have been taken before these tragic events, including banning “party houses” and verifying all 7 million listings.

Sort Out the Facts with Our Firm

If you or a loved one were injured or killed while attending the Airbnb party in Orinda, our lawyers can investigate your claim and help you figure out next steps.

Whenever you are harmed by someone else, our team at Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook is here to pursue justice on your behalf.

Call us at (925) 275-5592 today for a free consultation.

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