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$1.3 million settlement reached in Orange Park Airbnb drowning
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$1.3 million settlement reached in Orange Park Airbnb drowning

  • PublishedMay 18, 2024

Cameron Brown drowned last May at an Orange Park Airbnb. The attorney representing his family said Airbnb and the homeowner failed to safely maintain the pool.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Virginia family has been awarded a $1.3 million dollar settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Airbnb. 

Cameron Brown drowned at an Orange Park Airbnb last May. The attorney representing Brown’s family said if safety measures were in place at the pool, Brown would still be alive. 

Kim Wald, the attorney representing Brown’s family, said Brown was on vacation with his family. 

“He had entered the pool, and his mother was actually taking some photographs of him,” Wald said. 

She added Cameron slipped on an uneven slope in the pool and said it led to a deeper end of the pool where Cameron went under water. 

Wald said Cameron was not a good swimmer.

“His mom tried to jump in and was not able to save him,” Wald said. 

Brown’s family sued Airbnb, the host, and property owner claiming they owed a duty to Cameron to maintain the pool in a reasonably safe manner and warn him of known dangers.

“When we conducted our inspection of this pool, we actually found that there were two hooks on either side of the pool. And what those hooks were meant for is for a safety line to have been installed, basically just clipped into the side of the pool, that would have cost about $100,” Kim Wald, the Brown’s attorney, said. 

Wald said Cameron went under water right where the safety line would have been.

“He would have been able to reach over onto that safety line, hold on to it and then make his way back to the shallow end,” Wald said. 

He said Airbnb does not have to follow safety standards hotels are required to follow for their pools and said it’s important for people to ask questions and be aware of pool safety before renting an Airbnb.

Airbnb told us its terms of service requires hosts to follow local regulations involving pool safety and said it’s promoted pool safety tips for its hosts and guests. 

Wald said it’s not good enough and hopes Brown’s story can promote change.

“If bringing this awareness can save any other family, they [the Brown family] have accomplished their mission.”

First Coast News reached out to the Town of Orange Park after hours about its pool regulations for Airbnb’s. We are waiting for a response. 

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