Society

NYC Woman Sues Nephew Over Broken Arm After He Jumped Into Her Arms At His Eighth Birthday Party

| by Karin Sun
Jennifer ConnellJennifer Connell

A New York woman is suing her 12-year-old nephew for accidentally injuring her four years ago.

Jennifer Connell, a 54-year-old human resources manager from Manhattan, is seeking $127,000 in damages from her young nephew, Sean Tarala, for allegedly breaking her wrist in 2011. She is asking for a six-member Superior Court Jury to hold the boy accountable for the alleged incident, the CT Post reports.

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Connell claims her injury occurred when she visited the youngster's Westport, Connecticut, home for his eighth birthday party on March 18, 2011. According to her testimony given on Oct. 9, the boy had just received a red two-wheeler bicycle for his birthday and was riding it around the home when she arrived.

When the boy saw Connell, he reportedly dropped the bicycle to the ground and shouted, "Auntie Jen, Auntie Jen!" He then leaped into her arms, causing her to fall and break her wrist.

“All of a sudden he was there in the air,” Connell testified before Judge Edward Stodolink in court. “I had to catch him, and we tumbled onto the ground. I remember him shouting, ‘Auntie Jen, I love you,’ and there he was flying at me.”

The boy weighed about 50 pounds at the time of the incident. 

Connell claimed that she knew she was injured, but didn't say anything right away. "It was his birthday party, and I didn't want to upset him," she reportedly told the jury.

However, Connell later decided to sue her nephew for damages when she discovered the toll that the injury was having on her social life.

"I live in Manhattan in a third-floor walk-up, so it has been very difficult," she said. "And we all know how crowded it is in Manhattan."

"I was at a party recently, and it was difficult to hold my hors d’oeuvre plate," she added.

The youngster, now 12, reportedly looked confused as he sat with his father, Michael Tarala, in the Bridgeport courtroom. The boy's mother, Lisa, died last year.

Although Connell acknowledged her nephew's young age and described him as "loving" and "sensitive" in court, she insisted that the boy was old enough at the time of the accident to be held accountable for his actions.

“The injuries, losses and harms to the plaintiff were caused by the negligence and carelessness of the minor defendant in that a reasonable eight years 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,” the lawsuit read, according to court documents.

The jury has not made a decision as of this writing.

Sources: The Daily Mail, CT Post / Photo Credit: New York Daily News/Facebook, Google Maps via The Daily Mail