Airbnb said Thursday that it will pay funeral expenses for the five victims of the Orinda shooting, and will cover counseling costs for their families after a victim's lawyer blasted the company's response to the Halloween massacre at one of its rental homes.
in a statement, Airbnb said it has set aside funds for funeral expenses and counseling for the victims' families and has been in contact with Jesse Danoff, a lawyer representing the family of Raymon Hill Jr., one of those killed when gunfire erupted at the party Oct. 31.
Danoff made a statement earlier Thursday in response to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky's recent tweets saying the company is "working to support" the families and neighbors affected by the tragedy.
He said the law his company "wants the public to know that Airbnb has in no way done anything to support Mr. Hill's family." He said the family asked Airbnb to cover funeral expenses, but received no response.
They haven't even come out to apologize, ”Danoff said in the statement. "They have only responded to the public with thoughts and thoughts and prayers or have given nebulous promises to & # 39; do better & # 39; and & # 39; improve trust. & # 39;"
Airbnb defended its response to the shooting, saying it provides a reward for information leading to the arrest of the shooter and cooperating with police.
Right after Danoff made the statement, Airbnb phoned Danoff to apologize and offer the funds. Danoff said the company's representative told him that details would be worked out later.
Danoff criticized Airbnb's offer as just a response to bad advertising.
"This is a reactionary statement," Danoff said.
Despite the company's offerings, Danoff said that his law firm, Mitchell, will sue Airbnb for negligence that caused "a serious and serious life hazard."
"We want to get the family compensated for what was a meaningless death for the family member," Danoff said.
A copy of the complaint that Danoff said will be filed in Contra Costa County Superior Court on Friday shows Hill's parents claiming that Airbnb and the homeowners of the Orinda home allowed “a huge Halloween night party driven by alcohol and drugs without adequate supervision and / or any security measures taken that totally served to create / promote an air of lawlessness and violence that led to the presence of the mass shooter or shooters on the property. "[1
The other victims were Tiyon Farley, 22, from Antioch; Omar Taylor, 24, of Pittsburg; Javlin County, 29, of Sausalito and Richmond; and Oshiana Tompkins, 19, of Vallejo and Hercules.
Hill was the third son of his family who died of gun violence since 2012. His brother, Raydale Hill, was shot and killed just after midnight Sept. 13, 2018, while putting oil in his car on the 800 block of West Grand Avenue in Oakland.
Another brother, Ja & # 39; Quan Morton, was shot to death in a triple shooting in the San Francisco Bayview area April 13, 2012.
"I'm still trying to get hold," said the brothers' mother, Cynthia Taylor, for The Chronicle. “I just don't want to believe it. I just try and think of something else. "
On Thursday, The Chronicle reported that at least 42 people have been shot inside or just outside short-term rental housing across the United States over the past six months – and 17 have died, according to police and news reports.
As in the Orinda case, many of the shootings took place during parties at Airbnb rentals and involved multiple victims. The collection includes at least 23 shooting events in 12 states, including California, since May.
"There had been enough warning signs to see that what was happening to these young men and women was not only predictable, it was inevitable," Danoff said in the statement. "Airbnb just decided to change some of its policies when they saw the public turning to them after several lives were lost."
San Francisco Chronicle staff writers Matthias Gafni and Megan Cassidy contributed to this report.
Anna Bauman and Alejandro Serrano are staff writers in the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Twitter: @ abauman2