Photo via Wikimedia Commons

During the warmer months of the year, a trip to Ocean City can be fun and fulfilling if done right. Unfortunately for two couples who stayed in a condo building there in fall 2015, it proved to be just the opposite.

The Delmarva Daily Times reported yesterday that a couple who stayed at the Golden Sands Club Condominiums in October 2015 have sued the business over an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease. In their suit, they allege management knew about hazardous conditions in the building and didn’t correct them to spare guests from getting sick.

The pair, who live in Bonita Springs, Fla., are the second party to sue after another couple from Culpeper, Va., filed suit in November 2016 for similar reasons, the paper says.

Legionnaire’s is a severe form of pneumonia caused by the legionella bacteria, which can be inhaled through water and mist, according to the Mayo Clinic. It’s common in large buildings with ventilation systems, and people over age 50 are particularly susceptible, Mayo says.

It can be treated with antibiotics, but when left alone, Legionnaire’s can cause fatal respiratory or acute kidney failure or septic shock. The CDC says in this fact sheet for clinicians that about 10 percent of all cases are fatal.

After the reported infections from October 2015, health officials were able to trace the source of the disease back to Golden Sands. Worcester County officials told outlets last summer that they would continue to monitor the condo building until the problems were resolved.

The woman who filed the most recent lawsuit with her husband said in the filing that she’s still experiencing lung complications, eye injuries and hair loss, among other symptoms, according to the Delmarva Daily Times.

The timing of the new lawsuit is a bit awkward for Ocean City tourism officials. Last month, the beach town received a Travelers’ Choice award for being among the top 10 beach destinations for travelers in the United States.

Granted, few condo buildings are tainted with such bacteria, and Golden Sands has been in the news for a couple years now. Still, for travelers, a little digging about the lodging destination on Google – wherever it may be – never hurt.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...