Hot Tub
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A woman is suing Airbnb for $1.3 million after her husband got sick and died after he used a contaminated hot tub in their Airbnb rental in Gozo, Malta in 2016.

Sandra Bermingham, 54, her husband Paul, and their two kids Darragh, 10, and Kate, 12, used the Airbnb website to book their two weeks Christmas holiday in Gozo, Malta, in 2016. However, after using the hot tub in their Airbnb holiday home on New Year's Eve, when the family returned back to their Islington home in North London, Paul got sick and was immediately rushed to Whittington Hospital for treatment and was put into an induced coma, Daily Mail reported.

Despite the doctor's life-saving efforts, Paul sadly passed away two weeks after returning home and his death was ruled by a coroner as Legionella pneumonia.

Legionella bacteria cause a serious lung infection called Legionnaires' disease in people who contract the bacteria. Even though the bacteria can't be passed on from person to person, it is usually transmitted by inhaling small droplets of infected water and hot tubs are breeding grounds for the bacteria if they are not adequately cleaned.

"Paul only went in the hot tub once on New Year's Eve and he was in the water for a matter of seconds. The bacteria is airborne and I believe he was infected soon after he checked in to the farmhouse," Sandra said.

Since her husband's death in 2016, Sandra has engaged in a six-year-long legal battle with Airbnb. She believes the contaminated hot tub was the culprit that took her husband’s life and plans to sue the company for $1.3 million compensation money, the Sun reported.

"I do not believe the jacuzzi had been properly maintained and it had not been used for some time before our arrival," Sandra said.

"The holiday was supposed to be a break we could all enjoy, but it ruined our family life," she added.

Sandra said that the company has ignored all her claims and has refused to compensate her family for the wrongful death of her husband. She added that Airbnb refuses to investigate the property containing the contaminated hot tub as well.

Sandra has launched a GoFundMe page to help pay her family's legal costs in fighting the legal battle against Airbnb.

"Since I will not give up, I need funding for court proceedings to fight Airbnb on Malta for compensation," she said.

"I want the world to know how Airbnb works, making tons of money off our backs and waiving any responsibility when things go terribly wrong in the houses they earn their billions with," Sandra added.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Airbnb said: "We were heartbroken to learn of this tragic incident at the time and our thoughts remain with the Bermingham family following such an unimaginable loss. We remain in touch with the family's representatives on this matter. The safety of our community is a priority and with more than one billion guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date, isolated incidents are exceptionally rare."

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