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Death at an Airbnb


Have other hosts read this article? It’s about a guest whose father was killed when he used a rope swing at an Airbnb, and a branch came crashing down on his head. The article goes into a lot more about the company’s responsibility and accountability around guest safety. It’s very well written (by a journalist) and fair (the guest was a longtime Airbnb fan) and provokes a lot of soul searching.


I hadn’t read that particular article but I had heard the story. My thoughts, in no particular order.

Heartbreaking and two families lives are ruined.

The article is well over 2 years old yet the issues haven’t been address and the company just keeps chugging.

People die. Accidents happen. In my experience when someone dies there is always a questioning about prevention, a displacement of grief and anger onto whatever target is available.
Although Airbnb could address safety it doesn’t appear to pay off financially speaking. I don’t have the data to say whether Airbnb’s are more dangerous than other more traditional accomodations.

He doesn’t say if the homeowner had liability insurance and if they made a claim with the family. That’s where I would be putting the blame.

Finally, the Airbnb banner ads on the article as I’m reading it are rather unnerving. In particular I don’t like this one. Really, WTF. What host wants their rental promoted in this way? Sorry to hijack this sober thread, maybe I should make a separate post.

Edit: Wait, these aren’t banner ads. They are mocking Airbnb and go with the article. Whew!


My thoughts? Sad about the death, and the two families distress.

IT’S NOT AIRBNB’s FAULT; NOR IS IT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY!!! They are our marketing department – that’s all. Period. End of Statement. Safety is YOUR responsibility as a Host.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


He sure doesn’t look obese in any of the pictures accompanying the article.


yes but all those pics posted are clearly from decades ago. Lets see a recent pic


The tree had been dead for two years and at the break was clearly rotted on the inside (according to the author, that’s not pictured)


Is that you @steve_with_lots_of_numbers or his cousin?

Do you post the weight limit on the slide with a large sign?


I have to agree with Ken. There are dangers everywhere in life and yes, I feel extremely sorry for the family but accidents do happen and Airbnb, as a marketing platform, can’t go to every property and test everything.


Exactly. The joy of Airbnb is that it’s just someones house you borrow. If someone wants to see fire certificates, safety certificates, an on-site first-aider, a hygiene certificate, etc, they go to a hotel.


True. And even at a hotel, accidents and even deaths can happen. And that’s despite the most stringent tests. (Although I think we know that ‘stringent tests’ for hotels are less than perfect).

I sympathise so much with the guy who wrote that article.

A few months ago my dad died due to the fact that the wheelchair he was in (at a hospital) collapsed causing his fatal head injury. Last year I almost died because I randomly had an infection that meant severe surgery and several months hospitalisation. These things happen. Life doesn’t offer guarantees.


I am sorry. I understand this is still awful when it happens to you.
You sure are right; there are no guarantees.


If you book a flight, hotel or car though Expedia are they liable?

Should they have checked the car is safe, brakes work?

As far as the swing is concerned generally speaking the Property Owner would only be liable if it should have been apparent to a reasonable person that the tree was unsafe.


You are not a very nice person. You also failed to see the photos of the gorgeous fit man and his wife. Blame the victim.


I know this isn’t potentially fatal but I recently put a wooden bench on my porch which (as a larger man) I wouldn’t sit on myself. I was wondering if I should put a sign on it suggesting people took it easy but not sure how to word it. One idea was “Please be gentle baby”. Any thoughts?


It is indeed so true. Life doesn’t offer guarantees. We don’t really know what happen tomorrow.


You have me in stitches!


Gosh that’s horrific, especially at a hospital of all places. Hope you are recovering from the loss and your surgery, let’s hope 2018 is better :pray:t2::unicorn::hibiscus::rainbow::sunny:️:person_in_lotus_position:t5:‍♂️



Best to remove it.


I actually do mention the 250lb weight limit of the slide and the diving board in my listing now. I only feel the need to do this because after watching that 300+ lb guy go down my slide and jump off the diving board over and over and over… waiting for them to break… some obese people think their weight isn’t a factor.