Tammy Lawrence-Daley, 51, says she was attacked and left for dead at the Majestic Elegance Punta Cana Resort

By Steve Helling Joelle Goldstein
July 18, 2019 08:57 PM

The woman who says she was brutally attacked in January in the Dominican Republic has filed a $3 million lawsuit against the resort where she was staying.

Tammy Lawrence-Daley, 51, says she was attacked and left for dead in an underground area at the Majestic Elegance Punta Cana Resort by a man wearing a hotel uniform. She and her husband have accused authorities and hotel staff of mishandling the case.

In a press release on Thursday, her attorneys disclosed that they would file suit against Majestic Resorts, the parent company of the Punta Cana resort. The lawsuit seeks $3 million “for justice, accountability and compensation for Mrs. Lawrence-Daley’s permanent, life-changing injuries.”

“Mrs. Lawrence-Daley and her team want Americans to know that they are being misled to believe that the Majestic Elegance Punta Cana did their job in handling this matter and that their facilities are safe,” Lawrence-Daley’s attorneys wrote in a press release.

“Mrs. Lawrence-Daley suffered significant, permanent physical and mental injuries,” her attorneys continued. “[She] was so severely beaten that her husband and close friends could not even recognize her when she was finally found 8 hours after her abduction. The only source of identity confirmation were the shoes Mrs. Lawrence-Daley was wearing.”

Tammy Lawrence-Daley
Tammy Lawrence

RELATED: Woman Speaks Out After Being Attacked and Left for Dead at a Dominican Republic All-Inclusive Resort

Lawrence-Daley’s attorneys also issued new photos from the aftermath of her alleged attack, which matched the description of the trauma she was said to have experienced.

“Her face and eyes were so bloodied and swollen that she was unable to see,” her attorneys wrote. “Mrs. Lawrence-Daley lost one of her teeth and required immediate surgery to suture her gum line back together. She showed obvious and deep strangulation marks around her neck.”

The resort did not return PEOPLE’s calls for comment.

WARNING: Graphic photos below may be distressing to some readers

Tammy Lawrence-Daley

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In May, the resort issued a statement denying Lawrence-Daley’s allegations. The hotel’s statement also accused her of requesting $2.2 million in compensation, saying that when she did not receive a “positive response, she disclosed her version of the case, four months after it happened.”

Lawrence-Daley’s attorneys said on Thursday the resort’s response “diminished the brutal nature of Mrs. Lawrence-Daley’s attack and injuries” and claimed, “it inflated and misrepresented [their] response to Mrs. Lawrence-Daley’s abduction and near-fatal assault.”

Lawrence-Daley previously alleged to PEOPLE that while she was missing, a hotel staff member told her husband she was possibly drunk and sleeping it off. She said her husband had to go to the front desk at least three times before security began searching for his wife.

She also told PEOPLE that the evidence she provided, including the dress she wore the evening of her attack, was “lost” by authorities and the crime scene was not properly roped off, which she believes interfered with the investigation.

Majestic Elegance Resort
Majestic Elegance

RELATED: Hotel Where Woman Says She Was Brutally Attacked Claims She Asked for $2.2M Before Going Public

A spokesperson with the Dominican Republic Attorney General’s Office told NBC10 the woman’s rape kit came up negative, but Lawrence Daley previously told PEOPLE her kit wasn’t administered for 48 hours, which she believes might have compromised the result.

Spokespersons from both national and local police have disputed the couple’s claims that they mishandled the case, saying that as soon as they heard of Lawrence-Daley’s attack, investigators followed protocol collecting evidence, conducting interviews and taking her testimony.

“There is a lot of conjecture about the case, a lot of information that doesn’t match some of the statements,” National police spokesman Col. Frank Felix Duran told the Associated Press. “We have to wait for the investigation to end.”

WARNING: Graphic photo below may be distressing to some readers

Tammy Lawrence-Daley
Tammy Lawrence

RELATED: Husband Slams Cops After Wife’s Assault in the Dominican Republic — But Police Question Their Claims

The hotel, in its statement, said it “rigorously implemented the security protocol provided for the cases when information is received of a guest in trouble.”

The hotel’s statement added, “The authorities were immediately notified and the hotel took on the responsibility of providing all necessary attentions, as may be confirmed by the available document given to the authorities.”

Though Lawrence-Daley’s legal team hope the lawsuit will encourage the resort to take proper measures to prevent this from happening again, they acknowledged that the monetary compensation only partially makes up for the trauma she has experienced.

“A large monetary judgment is a strong message to the Majestic Elegance Punta Cana Resort, and the resort industry as a whole, that it must do better to screen employees and to safeguard its invited guests from criminal activity,” her attorneys said. “When the resorts are forced to realize that the cost of extra security is less than the cost of paying large judgments to criminally victimized guests, change will be swift and far-reaching.”

Christopher Daley, Tammy Lawrence-Daley
Today Show

“Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence-Daley are still receiving treatment in connection with this event. Mrs. Lawrence-Daley has permanent disfigurement, nerve damage and mental anguish that will last a lifetime,” they continued.

“It is with great urgency that Mrs. Lawrence-Daley and her attorneys notify all Americans of the real story,” her attorneys added. “The story the hotel does not want told. The story that should be a cautionary tale to all who visit these resorts.”

The Dominican Republic has suffered a public relations nightmare after several American tourists have died under strange circumstances in the country.

On the same day that Lawrence-Daley’s attorneys announced the lawsuit, the country’s Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier García presented details on increased safety and security measures. Effective immediately, the country will have more stringent inspection and security standards, as well as an emergency tourist center.

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