NEW YORK – A Manhattan woman is suing her own nephew after the excited 8-year-old’s hug allegedly caused her to fall and break her wrist.
Jennifer Connell testified against Sean Tarala, who is now 12 years old, on Friday in Westport court. Tarala, accompanied by his father, Michael Tarala, appeared confused during a hearing Friday, according to the Connecticut Post. The boy lost his mother, Lisa Tarala, when she died last year.
Connell, a 54-year-old human resources manager, said she loves her nephew, whom she called “very loving,” but told the court he should be held responsible for her injury. Connell claims Tarala, of Westport, was negligent and careless, and is suing her young relative for $127,000.
The hug happened March 18, 2011 when Connell showed up at the Taralas’ Westport home for the boy’s birthday. Sean was riding his brand-new red bike when he noticed his aunt, and came running, shouting, “Auntie Jen, I love you,” according to court records.
Connell’s 50-pound nephew jumped into her arms, sending the two tumbling to the ground, she testified. At the time, Connell said, she was injured but “it was his birthday party and I didn’t want to upset him,” according to the paper.
Connell, who doesn’t have children of her own, says her life in a third-floor Manhattan walk-up has been “very difficult” since that day.
Her social life has taken a serious hit as well, she says, “I was at a party recently, and it was difficult to hold my hors d’oeuvre plate,” Connell said.
Connell’s attorney claims that “a reasonable eight years(sic) 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.”