LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Airbnb Inc. Monday sued the organizer of a party held at a Glendora mansion this summer that attracted about 700 people, despite concerns by health officials that such events could be spreading grounds for COVID-19.
Davante Dajon Bell was named as the defendant in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit names along with unspecified “Does” who may be identified later.
Those involved in the lawsuit face allegations including inducing breach of contract, intentional interference with contractual relations, fraudulent misrepresentation and violation of the state Business and Professions Code.
Unknown to Airbnb, Bell promoted the “100 Summers Mansion Party” online and through social media platforms, touting a live music performance, the suit states. Bell posted several videos and images of the party at the 20,000- square-foot home, located at 1120 E. Sierra Madre Ave.
According to Glendora city officials, the $1.8-million mansion with five bedrooms and seven bathrooms was listed on several short-term rental sites, including vacationrenter.com, VRBO and Airbnb.
Videos and images posted to Instagram Stories showed hundreds of people packed into the home, with just one or two people wearing masks under their chins. According to city officials, organizers promoted live musical performances, presale tickets and off-site bus transportation.
Airbnb said the party violated its policy and the company is suing to stop Bell from future renting of properties under alleged false pretenses, according to the complaint.
Airbnb had terminated Bell’s account in June 2019 and banned him from booking Airbnb-listed accommodations, but he has used other Airbnb members to book properties on his behalf, according to the suit, which alleges his conduct is causing “significant harm to Airbnb, including … loss of goodwill, damage to its business reputation and expenses incurred in dealing with the effects of Bell’s alleged unlawful conduct.”
Airbnb is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
On Aug. 26, the city of Glendora sued Bell as well as Cao “Charles” Xin and Olivia Lei Zhao of Diamond Bar, identified as the owners of the estate since August 2017.
Pomona Superior Court Judge Peter A. Hernandez on Aug. 31 issued a temporary restraining order sought by the city against the homeowners and extended it with a preliminary injunction on Oct. 2.
Bell received multiple administrative citations for allegedly violating the Glendora Municipal Code and current health department orders, totaling $1,900 in fines.
More police officers had to be brought in once Bell made it clear he did not intend to cancel the party, but he decided to end the party at about midnight as a third administrative citation was being prepared, according to Glendora officials.
City officials said about $18,000 in expenses was incurred in the police response to the party.
“Despite the obvious nature of the risks involved in holding a party of this type because of COVID-19, Bell disregarded all warnings given by (the city),” the city’s suit states.
Xin and Zhao did not try and stop the party despite having the authority to do so under their short-term rental agreement, according to the city’s complaint, which further states that a default process has begun against Bell.
Zhao said she did not know a large party was being held at the Glendora mansion until she was notified by the police and that she cooperated with their investigation. She said she would not have rented the home to Bell if she knew he would have 700 guests there.
Bell did not immediately respond to CBS2/KCAL9’s request for comment.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)