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RegionSan Diego

San Diego County couple sues Airbnb over toddler’s drowning

REGION — A San Diego County couple whose 2-year-old daughter drowned at an Airbnb rental home in Mexico announced Monday that they are filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Airbnb.

Esmeralda Garcia and Ricardo Colin, the parents of Grezhia Colin, allege Airbnb failed to notify them that the Puerto Vallarta home they rented lacked safeguards that could have prevented their daughter from drowning in the home’s pool in 2021.

The couple and other family members were guests at the home and within 20 minutes of arriving, Grezhia slipped away from the family and got into an ungated and unlocked swimming pool area, according to the lawsuit.

She was pronounced brain dead at a San Diego hospital one week later, according to the family’s complaint.

The complaint states the family provided information through the Airbnb app indicating a young child would be among the guests, yet Airbnb did not state that the rental lacked safety measures to prevent children from accessing pool areas.

An Airbnb spokesperson said the company has not been served with the lawsuit, but said in a statement, “Our hearts go out to the Garcia-Colin family for their tragic loss.”

The company also said pictures of the pool were visible on the listing page and listed under the home’s amenities at the time. The company also did not receive any reports of issues with the property, which is no longer active on Airbnb, the company said.

The girl’s parents allege in their lawsuit that the company regularly advertises homes without pool enclosures as “kid-friendly rentals,” despite Airbnb’s awareness of the risks to children.

The complaint includes a link to the Airbnb website regarding a pool safety campaign the company announced last year that recommends utilizing pool fences in order to prevent child drownings. It also lists tips for Airbnb hosts that include notifying guests of the pool safety features available at their home, though the website indicates the company sends those tips specifically to hosts based in the United States.

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