Right Hooks

CT Jury Rules Aunt Can't Sue Nephew for $127,000

"It was difficult to hold my hors d'oeuvre plate."

Dan Gilmore · Oct. 14, 2015
Careful there, buddy, a 12-year-old got sued for giving one of those. Photo courtesy Arup Malakar, Flickr

No legal lotto jackpot this time. According to the Connecticut Post, it took a Superior Court jury 20 minutes to determine that no, Jennifer Connell is not entitled to monetary damages in her suit against her now-12-year-old nephew. Four years ago, Connell attended her nephew’s birthday party. When the boy saw her, he ran at her shouting “Auntie Jen! Auntie Jen!” — all 50 pounds of him. “All of a sudden he was there in the air, I had to catch him and we tumbled onto the ground,” Connell said. “I remember him shouting, ‘Auntie Jen I love you,’ and there he was flying at me.” As the two fell to the ground, Connell broke her wrist. She kept quiet because it was his birthday, but life got very, very difficult for the human resources manager. “I was at a party recently, and it was difficult to hold my hors d'oeuvre plate,” Connell complained. So she did what any reasonable person would do: She sued her nephew, whose mother died last year, for $127,000. To be fair, Connell told CNN that due to a quirk in Connecticut law she had to name the boy and the boy only in the lawsuit. “This was meant to be a simple homeowners insurance case,” she said. “Connecticut law is such that I was advised by counsel that this is the way a suit is meant to be worded.” Furthermore, “I adore this child,” she said. “I would never want to hurt him. He would never want to hurt me. … It’s amazing the power that the Internet has that something can go viral, completely out of context. I’m certainly not trying to retire to some villa in the south of France. I’m simply trying to pay off my medical bills.” If that’s the case, a bad law — in the state once known as the insurance capital of the world — made an aunt tarnish the name of a middle-school boy.


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