Aunt sues 12-year-old nephew over exuberant embrace


Jennifer Connell, a 54-year-old human resources manager from Manhattan, is suing her 12-year-old nephew after an excited hug–which happened during his own birthday celebration–caused her to fall and break her wrist.

According to a report from the CTPost, Connell is seeking $127,000 in damages. Her nephew Sean Tarala, who was eight at the time of the incident, is the only defendant in the case.

Here’s what court records say happened:

On March 18, 2011, Connell, who has no children of her own, arrived at the Tarala home to attend Sean’s birthday party. When he spotted Connell, he excitedly exclaimed, “Auntie Jen, Auntie Jen!”

Connell testified in court Friday: “All of a sudden he was there in the air, I had to catch him and we tumbled onto the ground. I remember him shouting, ‘Auntie Jen I love you,’ and there he was flying at me.”

Connell explained that while she was hurt, she didn’t want to upset the boy on his birthday by complaining. She went on to provide examples of the difficulties the injury has caused her. “I live in Manhattan in a third-floor walk-up so it has been very difficult,” she said. “And we all know how crowded it is in Manhattan.”

She even added, “I was at a party recently, and it was difficult to hold my hors d’oeuvre plate.”

The lawsuit claims that “The injuries, losses and harms to the plaintiff were caused by the negligence and carelessness of the minor defendant in that a reasonable eight years old under those circumstances would know or should have known that a forceful greeting such as the one delivered by the defendant to the plaintiff could cause the harms and losses suffered by the plaintiff.”

Sean was said to have appeared confused while he was in court. He sat next to his father; his mother passed away last year.

Post note – We were skeptical of this being a hoax so we followed up and there is a case listed on the court docket – via the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch website – with the same party names.


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