New York Aunt Loses Lawsuit Of 8-Year-Old Nephew For Jumping Into Her Arms

auntjen13n-1-webJennifer Connell, of New York City, has lost a case but appears to have won the distinction of being the worst aunt alive. Connell, 54, sued her 8-year-old nephew Sean Tarala for $127,000 for jumping into her arms at a party. The act caused her to fall and break her wrist. It is the type of thing that happens in families but Connell sued her nephew in torts. A six-member Connecticut jury unanimously rejected the claim in just 25 minutes — barely enough time to get to the jury room, take their seats, and vote down the case.

The complaint alleged 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-year-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.”

The lawsuit is reminiscent of the case of Garratt v. Dailey, 49 Wn.2d 499, 304 P.2d 681 (Wash. 1956) where Brian Dailey, 5, injured Naomi Garrett at her sister Ruth’s home when he pulled out a chair in a prank as Garrett was about to sit down. The court found for Garrett. Dailey did not intend to hurt Garrett but was substantially certain of that she would be injury as result of her actions.

In this case, it is not clear that Sean could be viewed as satisfying even the substantial certainty standard.

Connell insisted that she loves Sean and described him as a “very loving, sensitive” boy but still wanted him declared guilty and hit with a huge damage award.

Connell is a human resources manager and said that she was taken by surprise by her loving nephew: “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.” She described the horror of the aftermath of the accident and that recently she was at a party and “it was difficult to hold my hors d’oeuvres plate.”

I cannot imagine why the jury was not enraged at the thought of it.

77 thoughts on “New York Aunt Loses Lawsuit Of 8-Year-Old Nephew For Jumping Into Her Arms”

  1. So Tom… this is all about insurance scamming, huh? Jonathan failed at due diligence.

  2. PCS,

    Thanks, I checked – looks like the “Grim Reaper” or impeachment, whichever comes first.

  3. Richard,

    Some weeks ago, you implied that those who wrote the Constitution expected Supreme Court justices to hold the positions well into their eighties. It turns out that at least three of those founders died at the age of 67 which would imply they did not expect justices to serve such long periods. To be sure, the presidency was term limited in 1951. Why wouldn’t limited terms for SCOTUS justices be appropriate?

    1. forgotwhoiam – if you check the Constitution, you will find the term limits for justices of SCOTUS

  4. Karen S, the homeowner’s insurance would not routinely cover injuries at the property. Rather, it covers liability for injuries negligently caused by the insureds (usually the occupants of the property). Thus the lawsuit and arguments that the child was negligent.

  5. I guess it was not surprising to see so many jump to the conclusion that this woman was just a money grubbing Cruella character, as the original article was short on detail. Posters here were good enough to provide more detail and it became obvious this was not a case of greed on the part of the aunt. Jumping to conclusions and then doubling down on them even when given new more accurate information is a problem and one we all could all work on changing.

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