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Thursday 20 June 2019

TD in swing-fall claim sent back hotel's €600 cheque

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey
Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey

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 €600 cheque given to her by the Dean Hotel in Dublin.

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

The revelation comes amid 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 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.

In her action, Ms Bailey's lawyers say she was at the hotel with friends on July 13, 2015.

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

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