Aunt Sues Nephew for Breaking Her Wrist When He Hugged Her

Have you ever come across a news story so bizarre that it made you look at your screen sideways to verify what you were reading was, in fact, real? Well, here's one for ya: A New York City woman is suing her 12-year-old nephew for breaking her wrist at his birthday party ... four years ago.

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Jennifer Connell hopes a Superior Court jury will find her nephew, Sean Tarala, guilty of the crime she believes he committed at his eighth birthday party -- and is hoping to get $127,000. So what on earth did Sean do as an 8-year-old that's deserving of a lawsuit four years later?

He excitedly jumped into his aunt's arms after spotting her at his party (Jennifer and Sean fell to the ground, causing the aunt to break her wrist). Needless to say, Sean and his dad, Michael Tarala, were dumbfounded at the idea they had to go to court.

Sean's mom, Lisa Tarala, died last year.

I might be the only person who has an issue with this aunt's suing her nephew, but I can't seem to wrap my head around why she waited four years later to take action. Jennifer admits her nephew is very loving and that she didn't want to ruin his birthday party once she realized her wrist was broken -- so she figured a lawsuit four years later would be better? Obviously their falling to the ground was a mistake (sorry, Jennie, but all little boys that age don't know running to hug a relative with excitement can lead to such an injury). It doesn't sound like Sean targeted his aunt and purposely jumped on her with the intention of inflicting bodily harm. For heaven's sake, he rushed to you saying, "Auntie Jen, I love you."

I'm very sorry that Jennifer suffered a broken wrist, as it's not only unpleasant, but can also make life all the more difficult. However, Aunt Jennie lost me when she complained about her not being able to properly hold a hors d’oeuvre plate, and about the damage her injury has done to her social life. I get that Manhattan is crowded and walking up and down the stairs to your apartment can be a challenge, but my goodness, this is a bit much.

Just being the person I am (or try to be), I feel that if I knew my child caused such an injury to someone else, I would definitely try to help out in some way ... but I would look at you all kinds of crazy if you sued my son four years later for $127,000. Yes, there are circumstances that might cause family members to sue each other, but this is ridiculous.

The jury will have to decide if Sean is guilty of "negligence and carelessness," but I can't help but think about the real damage this unexpected lawsuit has caused. Not only is Sean dealing with the loss of his mother, but he now also has a loved one -- someone who admits how great of a kid he is -- suing him for money he doesn't have. I don't know what prompted Jennifer to sue now, or whether or not Sean and his dad Michael have the funds to fight this thing in court (I know Sean likely doesn't) -- and pay if they lose. You don't have to have children (Jennifer doesn't) to understand the importance of family.

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Now I see why some parents make visitors sign waivers when they come to their house. Will this be the new normal to prevent liability issues if a hug should cause a broken wrist?

Update: Since this story, the jury found in favor of Jennifer's nephew!

Image via VGstockstudio/shutterstock

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