Wellesley woman who says she was assaulted in Barcelona rental sues Airbnb


“It was supposed to be the best semester of my life”

Victoria Yordanova posed for a portrait near Boston Children’s Hospital, where she works. Yordanova was assaulted in an Airbnb apartment in Barcelona and is still traumatized by the incident, which took place in 2018. CRAIG F. WALKER / GLOBE STAFF

Woman from Wellesley is suing Airbnb – the popular home rental service – after saying a stay in Barcelona left her with two fractured necks and a broken arm following an attack and potential kidnapping , The Boston Globe reported.

In 2018, Victoria Yordanova was a 21-year-old Simmons University student studying abroad in Dublin, according to The Globe. She said she decided to take a trip with friends to Barcelona and scheduled an Airbnb to arrive one night before them.

“It was supposed to be the best semester of my life,” Yordanova, now a technician at Boston Children’s Hospital, told The Globe.

When she arrived at the rental at 9:30 p.m. that evening, Yardanova said the host, a woman named Tamara, was nowhere to be found and unable to enter the apartment. She said she finally contacted Tamara, who told her it was too late and sent Yordanova to another apartment, The Globe reported.

She said she was finally able to sleep in the other apartment – which had many other visitors and no locks on the door – when Yardanova said three men attempted to take her away. A door lock is an Airbnb requirement.

According to the lawsuit, Yordanova woke up with the three men carrying her out of bed and up a staircase. When she started to fight and scream, Yardanova said the men threw her down the stairs, which injured her.

The lawsuit reports that her screams alerted neighbors, who found her in an alley at the bottom of the stairs and quickly contacted the police. She suffered life-threatening injuries and was hospitalized for more than a week, including four days in the intensive care unit, the Globe reported.

Yardanova was immobilized for two months and has a titanium rod in her arm that cannot be removed, according to The Globe. Her lawyer, George A. McLaughlin, said she was still suffering from psychological and physical side effects three years later and had numerous visible scars.

According to The Globe, Yardanova is suing Airbnb for “failing to provide her with a safe place to stay when she arrives in Barcelona.”

Although Airbnb did not comment on the incident when contacted by The Globe, they confirmed that Tamara has since been removed from the app. Airbnb also said in a press release sent to The Globe that “between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, only 0.086% of trips included a safety issue reported by a host or guest.”

However, The Globe reported an incident in 2018 in which an Airbnb host crashed through a guest’s bedroom window. Bloomberg reported another incident in which a woman was raped at a Manhattan Airbnb and paid $ 7 million by the company to prevent public complaints.

“I want people to know that this can happen,” Yordanova told The Globe. “You can get an Airbnb and you can end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

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