TD Bailey rejected €600 from hotel to pay her medical bill after swing fall

The hotel where Maria Bailey fell off a swing wanted to pay for her medical treatment, but the TD declined the offer.

In court papers, lawyers for the Fine Gael politician revealed she returned a cheque for €600 given to her by the Dean Hotel in Dublin following the incident in 2015.

Despite rejecting the offer, a claim for hospital and dental costs has been included in the Dún Laoghaire TD’s personal injuries action against the hotel.

The revelation comes amid ongoing controversy over her decision to bring the lawsuit, in which she alleges the hotel was negligent because the swing was “unsupervised” and there were no signs to instruct patrons how to safely use it.

Former Labour Party leader Joan Burton became the latest high-profile politician to weigh in on the matter, saying Ms Bailey had shown “very poor judgment” and should reconsider her legal action.

The court filing by Ms Bailey’s solicitors reveals that in addition to general damages, which can be up to €60,000 in the circuit court, she is seeking special damages for medical expenses.

This includes a claim for €1,200 in hospital fees, €280 in dental fees and yet to be ascertained amounts for physiotherapy and Pilates.

The Dean Hotel denies negligence and says that if injury was suffered, this was due to Ms Bailey’s own negligence or contributory negligence.

It claims she was holding items in both hands when she sat on the swing, restricting her ability to balance and preventing her from holding rope grips properly.

Other court papers reveal that before the case can proceed, Ms Bailey will have to provide the hotel with extensive medical documentation.

Not only must she provide records relating to her attendance at the Beacon Hospital’s accident and emergency unit following her fall, the TD must also produce medical and dental notes, including X-rays and scans, relating to her back, headaches and dental issues for a period of three years prior to the incident.

In her action, Ms Bailey’s lawyers say she was at the hotel with friends on July 13, 2015, seven months before she was elected to the Dáil.

At around 9pm, her party went to the top floor where there are swings hanging in the corridor leading to a restaurant.

They say she sat on a swing and was having her photo taken by friends “when she was caused to fall backwards”, suffering injuries to her head, lower back and hip.

The legal filing by her solicitors reveals further details about the aftermath of the fall.

Ms Bailey was described as being dazed and shocked. She was helped up by friends and went to a bathroom to check her injuries.

It is claimed her hip was grazed and bloody and her head was sore.

Hotel staff were said to have given her plasters and dressings for the hip grazes and she filled out an incident form.

The filing says the hotel offered her a drink, but she politely declined and went home.

It is claimed Ms Bailey woke up the next morning at 6.30am and felt “severe pain” in her back, preventing her from getting out of bed.

A doctor was called but could not attend immediately.

According to her lawyers, Ms Bailey’s mother came to assist her. She took anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications which allowed her to get out of bed after 45 minutes.

She was brought to the Beacon Hospital and was described as being “in severe pain”, with a swollen jaw and a bite that was “out of line”.

Ms Bailey was also described as being sick and sore and having a severe headache.

She underwent a pelvic X-ray, but no bone injury was detected. However, it is claimed she was diagnosed with soft tissue type injuries, contusions and concussion.

An MRI scan the following month showed no significant findings.

At further examinations in May 2016 at Stepaside Medical Clinic, Ms Bailey reported continuing difficulty with back pain.

The filing said she still undergoes physiotherapy, dry needling and deep massage treatments. It says there have been significant improvements over time, but that she is still symptomatic, especially if she misses physiotherapy.

It claims that sitting for prolonged periods causes her discomfort, while she has also had to cut back significantly on running.

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