ARDEN-ARCADE (CBS13) — Gunfire over the weekend at a house party turned violent is prompting Airbnb to take a drastic step. For the first time in the company’s history, it’s suing a guest to stop out-of-control parties.
Three people were shot at a party with an estimated 50 guests, terrifying the Arden-Arcade neighborhood.
“It was terrifying, I found the laser from his gun. I didn’t know what it was. It was right here, they were in the yard, cars were everywhere, I heard five shots,” said neighbor Deborah.
Deborah said cars took over her neighborhood, some left deserted in the middle of the street as partiers ran from gunfire. She believes that multiple people are at fault for the chaos.
“If the Airbnb owners didn’t know who they were renting to, they have some culpability in this as well,” she explained.
Now Airbnb is taking action. For the first time, they are suing the booking guest for throwing an unauthorized party. In a statement, they said they notified the guest Monday of their intent to sue.
“The company notified the guest on Monday of its intent to bring legal action, alleging negligence and violation of local health orders, violation of Airbnb’s Community Standards, and that the Guest booked the listing under false pretenses. Airbnb has removed the guest from the platform,” the statement read.
Airbnb plans to donate any money recovered through the proceeding to a local Sacramento non-profit fighting against gun violence.
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The mother of one of the victims that did not want to be named said she doesn’t think the company’s action goes far enough.
“I want justice for the kids. They were innocent in all of this. From my understanding, the owner came out to speak with the officers after the shooting happened. So, that pretty much tells me that the owner of the property was there and if that is the case, he needs to be held accountable for not stopping this party,” she said.
The woman who published the rental listing on Airbnb said she did not know the guest was going to throw a party. She claims in a message exchange through the online booking agency, the renter said he and his family were passing through Sacramento and needed a space to stay for the night.
The text goes on to say: “We are really clean and tidy so everything will be left as it was. The home will be respected and taken care of.”
Inside the home, you can see holes in multiple walls and a broken window, the women who rented out the home claims came from the party.
Airbnb claims it has no tolerance for unauthorized parties. The company recently added a new initiative that restricts some U.S. guests under the age of 25 from booking. Additionally, the company has expanded its risk detection efforts aimed at stopping unauthorized parties.
“Airbnb is being very proactive in this case and that is an image issue for the company. They are planning to go public very soon and they want to come off a very clean by the book type of company,” said Sacramento attorney Mark Reichel.
Reichel believes the company is also preparing to face legal action of their own.
“This is going to result in all sorts of lawsuits. You have injured people, they are going to sue the person who put the party on, they are going to sue the actual homeowner and they are going to sue Airbnb,” he explained “They are getting ready for the rounds of lawsuits that are coming. As if to say we agree we have already sued this guy, we had nothing to do with this,” he said.
One victim’s mom said she is already planning to sue more than just one person.
“Not only am I going after Airbnb, but also the owner of that home. If I have to go after the person that rented the home, I’ll do that too,” she explained.
She went on to explain that the three young adults in their 20’s will need medical bills and therapy to pay to recover from the shooting.