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The Plim Plaza Hotel in Ocean City, Maryland has closed three days before the end of the season after three former guests were hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease. All three guests were over 50 and suffering from weakened immune systems, rendering them particularly susceptible to Legionnaires’ disease. Guests currently staying at the hotel were “voluntarily relocated” so that “everyone would feel more safe and sound,” according to the Baltimore Sun.

Officials of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene are currently conducting tests of the hotel’s water system, and the hotel itself has also hired an outside firm for water testing. Preliminary results have shown the presence of legionella bacteria in the water, but official results will not be available until next week.

The Plim Plaza is purportedly contacting guests who stayed there in the past month to warn them about potential exposure to the legionella bacteria. One former guest commented that he and his elderly mother had stayed there from September 26 to 30, 2011 and that he had not yet heard from the hotel. He had noticed officials conducting tests on the hotel’s three hot tubs during his stay, but thought at the time that they were performing standard maintenance.

The Maryland Department of Mental Health and Hygiene encourages anyone who stayed at the Plim Plaza Hotel on or after September 1, 2011 to contact their health provider if they develop symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease, which include shortness of breath, chills, fever, nausea, diarrhea, lethargy, coughing, chest pain, and headaches.

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially deadly form of pneumonia that afflicts between 8,000 and 18,000 Americans per year, according to the CDC.[1] Symptoms can appear between 2 to 14 after exposure to the legionella bacteria.

Jules Zacher represented six former guests of an Ocean City hotel, the Princess Royale, in 2004, and argued that the hotel posed a danger to guests by not properly maintaining its water system.[2] Tests revealed the presence of legionella bacteria in the shower heads and faucets in the victims’ rooms, and several other locations throughout the hotel were determined to be conducive for the growth of the bacteria. More recently, Mr. Zacher settled a case involving a Legionnaires’ disease victim from Canada who was infected and became severely ill due to poorly maintained hot tubs at a hotel in Orlando, Florida.[3]

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  1. Gravatar for Gerald Uhlan
    Gerald Uhlan

    A follow-up: I'm the guest mentioned in the article. The Plim Plaza DID eventually contact me just this afternoon. Two different people from the Plim called twice within five minutes of each other, actually. However, the guests who were still at the hotel and relocated when it closed down were told merely that there was a problem with the water heaters.

  2. Gravatar for sherry wolgamuth
    sherry wolgamuth

    I was at the hotel for SunFest. After returning home, I started to get a cough, lost my voice..Went to the drs & got antibiotics. After a week, I'm not better. Today we were contacted by the hotel. So after calling the dr, he is advising I need to return tomorrow, as I would have been better if it were indeed just allergies as he thought last week.

  3. Gravatar for Jo Legg
    Jo Legg

    I too stayed at the hotel for two nights 9/27 and 9/28. I received the call from hotel yesterday. I had a headache all day Saturday , Wheezing and shortness of breath. Having seasonal allergies and asthma I thought nothing of it until I got the phone call from the hotel. Makes me very nervous!!! My boyfriend and I swam in pool, went in hot tub, showered, ate ice from ice machine, etc We are 40 and generally healthy but I'm still paranoid. I went to my dr. just to be safe. They did chest Xray and put me on antibiotics just to be sure. They said xray looked normal. My boyfriend has no symptoms. Prayers for those who are i'll or not informed.

  4. Gravatar for Jules Zacher
    Jules Zacher

    Dear Mr Uhlan;

    I am an attorney in Philadlephia who represented 6 clients in a Legionnaires disease case against a hotel in Ocean City Maryland in 2004. You may want to visit my website at for a paper (see Case Overviews) about the outbreak at the Princess Royale Hotel. I have also been asked to represent 4 clients against the Plim Plaza Hotel regarding the current outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. Please contact me at 215-988-0160 or if I can be of any assistance. If you have already retained counsel, please disregard this e-mail.

    Jules Zacher Esq

  5. Gravatar for Jules Zacher
    Jules Zacher

    Dear Ms Legg;

    I have read your comment regarding the Plim Plaza. Please see my responsive comment to Mr Uhlan.

    Jules Zacher Esq

  6. Gravatar for Brittany

    I stayed at the plim plaza from sunday till they moved us. Ive been wheezing and felt tired the whole car show weekend. Just recently found out about it never recieved a call. I can not believe they lied to us and told us the hot water went out. Especially beings my three year old son was with us is what really bothers me. Guess ill be making a trip to the doctors. Really dissappointed in plim plaza

  7. Gravatar for Jules Zacher
    Jules Zacher

    Dear Brittany;

    I have read your comment regarding the Plim Plaza. Please see my responsive comment to Mr Uhlan.

    Jules Zacher Esq

  8. Gravatar for Jules Zacher
    Jules Zacher

    Dear Ms Wolgamuth;

    I have read your comment regarding the Plim Plaza. Please see my responsive comment to Mr Uhlan.

    Jules Zacher Esq

  9. Gravatar for Brittany

    Going to the doctors tomorrow was having chest pain when I took deep breaths. If I end up not having it can we still do something beings they lied and didnt tell us right away so we could leave immediately instead of hanging around the hotel even more?

  10. Gravatar for Gerald Uhlan
    Gerald Uhlan

    Well, now it is official and one person has died:

    I haven't been feeling well for a week now. All the reports say to "see a healthcare provider". What it doesn't say is what to do when you can't afford to see a doctor and have no health insurance, like me...

Comments are closed.