Wednesday, October 14, 2015

World's Worst Aunt Loses Lawsuit Against Her Nephew

Jennifer Connell said her
eight year old's over-excited hug
caused her to break her wrist.
So she sued the kid.  

OK, there's a chance me and the rest of the world were unfair to this aunt who sued her nephew because his big greeting four years ago caused her to fall and break her wrist.

According to her lawyers, Jennifer Connell really didn't want to sue her nephew, but the homeowner's insurance company of her nephew's parents forced the issue.

Their insurance company was Travelers. They offered to pay Connell a whopping $1.00. When she objected, Connecticut law makes her, and others in that situation to sue whoever caused the injury.

In this case, it was the nephew.

Yeah, Connell should have realized the optics of this situation looked really bad, and maybe tried, I don't know, GoFundMe.

But still, the insurance company is a total villian in this case, too. Probably more of a villian than Connell.

Of the verdict in which jurors awarded Connell no money. "We think the verdict speaks for itself. We don't have anything to add about this case."

That's because Travelers wants to make sure all the negative publicity is on Connell, not them.

I have to agree with the snarky web site Gawker on this one. As Gawker wrote:

"As horrible as a woman suing a child - a relative, at that - sounds on paper, a healthcare system where a corporation can force her into that situation to address her injuries sounds even worse."

Exactly. If Connell's lawyers' version of events is correct, Travelers was too cheap to reach some sort of settlement, and decided Connell's efforts to get some money was worth making her an Internet punching bag.


About four years ago, Sean Tarala, then eight, saw that his aunt, Jennifer Connell, arrived at his birthday party

According to the Connecticut Post, this is how the scene played out:

"When he spotted Connell, he dropped the new bicycle on the ground, exclaiming, 'Aunit Jen! Auntie Jen!'

'All of a sudden he was there in the air, I had to catch him, and we tumbled onto the ground,' Connell testified of her encounter with the 50-pound boy. 'I remember him shouting 'Auntie Jen I love you,' and there he was flying at me.'"

Notice the quote from the Connecticut Post said Connell was "testifying."

That's because she was in court relaying this story. She was in court because she was suing her nephew, who is now 12 years old.

When Sean embraced Connell at that party four years ago and they fell, Connell broke her wrist.

Which is of course unfortunate.  But she sued the kid for $127,000 for breaking her wrist. Sean, who the lawsuit claimed was negligent for recklessly hugging is aunt, was the only person named in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit said that "a reasonable eight year old under those circumstances would know or should hae 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 Connecticut Post reported that a jury spent all of 20 minutes reaching a common sense conclusion that Sean was not negligent and Connell would not be awarded so much as a penny for her troubles.

Those troubles, according to testimony, included the fact the broken wrist made it hard for Connell to hold a plate of hors d'oeuvres at a party.

Sean sat through court testimony looking kind of confused with his father at his side. Why wasn't Sean's mom there? Well, she died last year.

You'd think Sean had enough bad things going on in his life with his mother dying. You'd think Connell would think to herself that maybe Sean needs a loving woman in his life and an aunt would be a great help for Sean right now.

But, Connell couldn't hold a plate of hors d'oeuvres at a party because of that snotty nosed brat Sean hugging her and breaking her wrist. So just sue the kid instead.

Connell is of course now an Internet villian. A hashtag for her on Twitter is #AuntFromHell.  But she is widely known know as #AuntieJen a meme that's becoming as iconic for a adult who is mean to children as Mommie Dearest.

But she really should have seen that coming.

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