Airbnb Sex Assaults
Numerous guests have reported sexual assaults by Airbnb hosts. The many allegations include claims of kidnapping, rape and other acts of sexual violence. Additionally, some properties have been the site of child sex abuse.
However, guests are not the only victims of Airbnb sexual assaults. Hosts and their families have also been assaulted by the guests they have rented their properties to.
Airbnb & Child Sexual Abuse
Although Airbnb screens rental owners and renters, many claim the background checks don’t do enough to protect either party.
In 2017, at an Airbnb in Minnesota, a naked adult male guest entered the bed of the host’s seven-year-old daughter. The perpetrator had a criminal record that was not disclosed to the host family. Airbnb claimed the perpetrator’s past offenses were not serious enough to be flagged by the company’s background check.
The perpetrator was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct of a victim under 13.
Airbnb Sexual Assault Lawsuits
In 2017, The Guardian reported on a sexual assault lawsuit filed against Airbnb. In 2016, Leslie Lapayowker rented a room from an Airbnb “super host” in Los Angeles. The plaintiff claims the host sexually assaulted her.
The plaintiff’s lawyers found the host had formerly been arrested in Florida for battery and domestic violence. According to the plaintiff’s lawsuit, Airbnb was negligent in the matter by allowing guests to rent a room from an accused abuser.
Were You Assaulted at an Airbnb?
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Airbnb & Voyeurism
Apart from sexual assault, some Airbnb hosts have been charged with video-related voyeurism.
In 2017, a host in Florida was arrested and criminally charged with video voyeurism after Airbnb guests identified a hidden camera in the bedroom smoke detector. Airbnb banned the host from future use of the site.
Voyeurism is the sexual preference of observing others in an intimate or sexual act (e.g., bathing, undressing, engaging in sexual activity). This observation typically occurs without the subject’s knowledge.
Airbnb Physical Assaults
Airbnb users have been targets of violent crimes and physical assaults. Guests have been robbed, kidnapped and physically attacked while staying at Airbnb rental properties.
In some instances, these assaults have been fatal.
One of the most well-known Airbnb murders occurred in 2019. In Orinda, California, more than 100 people attended a Halloween party at a large house rented through Airbnb. During the party, a gunman entered the home and opened fire. He killed five people and injured many more.
Airbnb Physical Assault Lawsuits
Following assaults, survivors can file lawsuits against Airbnb. If you were severely injured during an Airbnb-related physical assault, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Consult our legal team today to learn more about your options.
I Was Assaulted | Should I Hire An Airbnb Assault Lawyer?
If you or a loved one was the victim of an Airbnb-related assault, legal action may be right for you. Survivors have filed lawsuits against their attackers and Airbnb for the company’s negligence.
For many assault survivors, taking legal action is one important step in the healing journey. Survivors may find relief and a sense of justice through the legal process.
Filing a lawsuit can also lead to financial compensation for victims. Monetary awards or settlements can go a long way in covering trauma-associated costs including:
- Medical expenses (including therapy bills)
- Loss of wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (loss of benefits in a familial relationship, usually claimed by spouse or family member)
- Punitive damages (award meant to financially punish the defendant)
Contact our legal team today to learn more about your options. Our legal partners at The Meneo Law Group have more than 30 years of experience with personal injury cases. The law firm can help you build a strong case and get the justice you deserve.
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Airbnb Assault FAQs
Can You Sue Your Airbnb Host?
Yes. Many assault survivors have sued their Airbnb host. However, in many Airbnb assault cases, survivors have also named Airbnb as a defendant. Survivors have sued Airbnb for their negligence in preventing assaults and their mishandling of reported assaults.
In 2021, Airbnb removed its mandatory arbitration clause from its customer service policy. This allows more assault survivors to take legal action against the company.
How Do I Report An Airbnb Assault?
If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
You can report an assault to your local police department, by phone or in person.
If you were sexually assaulted or suffered injuries from a physical attack, you should also seek medical attention. You can report the assault to the medical professional treating you. However, reporting the assault is not a requirement in order to gain treatment.
How Long Do I Have To File An Airbnb Assault Lawsuit?
The legal deadline to file an assault claim will depend on several factors:
- The type of assault
- The severity of the assault
- The age of the victim
Additionally, the legal deadline will vary based on the state where the lawsuit is filed. Each state sets its own statute of limitations for various crimes.
Recently, many states have expanded their statutes for civil claims of sexual assault and abuse. These expanded deadlines allow more survivors to take legal action against their attackers.
Speak with one of our experienced attorneys to determine which statute applies to your unique case.
Free, Confidential Case Evaluation.
If you or a loved one suffered a sexual assault or serious physical attack while renting or hosting an Airbnb or another rental property, you’re entitled to legal representation and possible financial compensation.
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Meneo Group managing partner: Ron Meneo
Ron Meneo is the managing partner of The Meneo Law Group. With more than 40 years of experience, he represents clients across the country on a variety of complex legal matters, including personal injury due to institutional sexual abuse, unsafe pharmaceutical drugs and other practice areas. He is a recipient of Martindale-Hubbell’s prestigious AV® Preeminent Rating. He has also served as an editor and contributor for several legal journals.
Fussell, S. (2019, March 26). Airbnb Has a Hidden-Camera Problem. The Atlantic.
Grind, K., Shifflett, S. (2019, December 26). Shooting, Sex Crime and Theft: Airbnb Takes Halting Steps to Protect Its Users. The Wall Street Journal.
Levin, S. (2021, July 27). Airbnb sued by woman who says she was sexually assaulted by ‘superhost.’ The Guardian.
May, P. (2019, November 1). Airbnb properties have seen their share of crimes and other troubles. The Mercury News.
Reilly, K. (2017, October 11). Couple Finds Hidden Camera in Their Airbnb. Time.