New York Woman Tries (and Fails) to Sue Nephew for $127K Over a Hug

Image Source: Thinkstock
Image Source: Thinkstock

UPDATE: According to the Connecticut Post, the jury has found Sean Tarala “not liable for his actions.” Connell was awarded no money for her suit and ignored requests for comments as she was escorted out of the courthouse.


No, you didn’t accidentally stumble upon an article on The Onion.

In actual news that is very much real and very much ridiculous, a New York woman is suing her 12-year-old nephew for $127,000. His offense? A really big hug.

On March 18, 2011, the defendant Sean Tarala of Westport, CT was celebrating his 8th birthday party and happily riding his new bicycle around his house without a care in the world. When plaintiff (and hugging victim) 54-year-old Jennifer Connell arrived, Tarala abandoned his bicycle and exclaimed, “Auntie Jen, Auntie Jen,” according to the Connecticut Post.

“All of a sudden he was there in the air, I had to catch him and we tumbled onto the ground,” Connell testified in Connecticut’s Superior Court on Friday, according to the Post. “I remember him shouting, ‘Auntie Jen, I love you,’ and there he was flying at me.'”

The nerve.

As a result of all this ill-advised affection, Connell was knocked to the ground and broke her wrist, which has made life nearly unbearable for her: “I live in Manhattan in a third-floor walk-up so it has been very difficult,” she claimed, according to the Post. “And we all know how crowded it is in Manhattan.”

Yes, yes we do. So very crowded.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Connell’s social life has been directly impacted by the incident: “I was at a party recently, and it was difficult to hold my hors d’oeuvre plate.”

So you see, that little jerk really needs to pay.

The lawsuit also claims:

“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.”

While the news is laughable, the reality is somewhat less amusing when you discover that the boy lost his mother, Lisa Tarala, last year.

For what it’s worth, Connell testified that she does love her nephew, but that he should be held accountable for his actions. You know, because nothing says love quite like a lawsuit.

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