Tags: jennifer connell | aunt | sued | nephew | hug

Aunt Who Sued Nephew Over Hug Clarifies It Was an Insurance Case

Image: Aunt Who Sued Nephew Over Hug Clarifies It Was an Insurance Case
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By    |   Thursday, 15 Oct 2015 01:43 PM

Jennifer Connell, the aunt who was vilified in the media this week for suing her young nephew over an exuberant hug, has clarified that the case was supposed to be a "simple homeowner's insurance case."

The suit filed by the 54-year-old Manhattan resident in a Connecticut court sought $127,000 in damages for the hardship she faced after a hug from her then-8-year-old nephew in 2011 broke her wrist, according to CNN. It took a jury just 25 minutes on Tuesday to rule in favor of the boy, now-12-year-old Sean Tarala.

In the suit, Connell said the injury had negative effects on her social life, such as making it difficult for her to hold her hors d'oeuvre plate at parties.

She was vilified in the media, with one New York tabloid even dubbing her the "Auntie-Christ."

But now Connell is speaking out to set the record straight. The boy, who is actually her cousin's son, was never the target, Connell said, insisting that she was told by legal counsel that the only way to get her insurance company to pay for her medical bills was to name the child in her lawsuit.

"This was meant to be a simple homeowner's insurance case," she told CNN. "Connecticut law is such that I was advised by counsel that this is the way a suit is meant to be worded. I adore this child. I would never want to hurt him. He would never want to hurt me."

Connell appeared with Tarala on the "Today" show Thursday and said she "was never comfortable" with naming her nephew specifically in the lawsuit but the state law gave her no other options in trying to recoup her losses from the insurance company.

"I'm no legal expert but as I understand it, in Connecticut, it's not possible to name an insurance company in a suit of a homeowner's insurance case," she said. "An individual has to be named, and in this case, because Sean and I had this fall together, I was informed that Sean had to be named."

The boy even defended his aunt on "Today," sitting next to her in the interview.

"She would never do anything to hurt the family or myself," Tarala said. "I love her and she loves me."

Connell said the social media reaction to the case, in which hashtags dubbed her the "aunt from hell" and "worst aunt ever," stunned her.

"It was a complete shock to me," she said. "It just spun and spun, and suddenly I was getting calls, 'Don't look at the Internet. Don't turn on the television.' And it was sort of heartbreaking and really painful, but also like walking into a film of someone else's life."



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Jennifer Connell, the aunt who was vilified in the media this week for suing her young nephew over an exuberant hug, has clarified that the case was supposed to be a "simple homeowner's insurance case."
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2015-43-15
Thursday, 15 Oct 2015 01:43 PM
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