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CT Nephew Wins: Verdict for Defendant in Aunt’s Broken Wrist Case

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It was a seemingly crazy case to begin with: An 8-year old boy leaps to greet his aunt. They tumble to the floor. She breaks her wrist. Then, she sues him.

BRIDGEPORT, CTIt's the personal injury lawsuit that has taken the media by storm over the past day or so. A 54-year-old woman from New York City had sued her young nephew for $127,000 in damages alleging the boy was careless and negligent and caused her to break her wrist when he bounded to greet her. A jury delivered its verdict today in favor of the defendant - the nephew.

The story dates back to March 18, 2011 when Jennifer Connell, an HR manager living in New York, attended the birthday party for her then 8-year-old nephew, Sean Tarala, in Westport, CT. According to the Connecticut Post (10/13/15), Tarala had been riding his new bicycle when he noticed his aunt, dropped his bicycle, and ran to greet her. The boy leapt into the air while, as stated by Connell in court documents, he shouted “Auntie Jen I love you!”

The greeting caused Connell and the boy to tumble to the floor - the impact of which allegedly caused Connell's wrist to break. According to Connell, she did not address the situation with Tarala at that moment noting, ‘It was his birthday party and I didn’t want to upset him.”

Later, in March, 2013, when faced with the alleged ongoing challenges of having an injured wrist and having to navigate life in New York living in a three-story walk-up, Connell filed her complaint. “I live in Manhattan in a third-floor walk-up so it has been very difficult,” Connell stated. “And we all know how crowded it is in Manhattan.”

In addition to her day-to-day challenges, Connell also added, “I was at a party recently, and it was difficult to hold my hors d’oeuvre plate.”

That statement, which started to go viral on social media, drew negative reaction that poked fun at the seeming superficiality of Connell’s plight. The online backlash was further prompted by the fact that Tarala’s mother, Lisa Tarala, died last year.

Some comments, however, speculated whether Connell was trying to sue in order to be able to have a claim paid out from the Tarala's home insurance policy. Tarala’s father, Michael Tarala, was not named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit.

Today, after over two years in court, a jury found unanimously for Sean Tarala. The case is Jennifer Connell vs. Sean Tarala, No. CV13-603-36-08-S, State of Connecticut Superior Court, Judicial District of Fairfield at Bridgeport.

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