Worst. Aunt. Ever. (The Sequel)

The bizarre, sad story — about an aunt suing for $127,000 in damages, after an 8-year-old boy jumped excitedly into her arms and broke her wrist — started this morning with the Westport News. It got some traction on “06880.” From there it spread to the New York Post. Reddit. Gawker.

And tonight, ABC’s World News Tonight.


Finally, the story comes its (thankfully) logical conclusion.

This afternoon in Bridgeport Superior Court, a 6-person jury took 25 minutes to tell Jennifer Connell: Go back to your 3rd-floor walkup in Manhattan  — the one that is so difficult to get to, what with a broken wrist and all.

And don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

(To see tonight’s ABC News report, click here.)

11 responses to “Worst. Aunt. Ever. (The Sequel)

  1. This lawsuit should have never even made it to a jury. And this woman works in Human Resources?? Are you kidding me?? I would like to know where she works. Disgraceful on every HUMAN level. Wishing only the BEST and sending love and support for nephew and father.

  2. Jennifer Connell: A veritable nightmare masquerading as a woman. Sending all good wishes to father and son as they move forward and focus on the truly good in life.

  3. Adam Schwartz

    There MUST be another side of this story. This is way, way too crazy to be true as we see it. I hope someone gets an interview with her and we hear the truth. I think there’s something else going on. I’d like to know if she’s the sister of the father or the late mother? I bet the four years waiting to file the case and the timing of the mother’s death has something to do with this. Not saying she has anything to do with the mother’s death, just the timing. I bet she is the mother’s sister and she had a falling out with the father. That’s where the story is!

    • If nothing else, that would make a great “ripped from the headlines” opportunity for Law & Order.

    • Her attorney responded:

      “From the start, this was a case was about one thing: getting medical bills paid by homeowner’s insurance. Our client was never looking for money from her nephew or his family. It was about the insurance industry and being forced to sue to get medical bills paid. She suffered a horrific injury. She had two surgeries and is potentially facing a third. Prior to the trial, the insurance company offered her one dollar. Unfortunately, due to Connecticut law, the homeowner’s insurance company could not be identified as the defendant.”

      “Our client was very reluctant to pursue this case, but in the end she had no choice but to sue the minor defendant directly to get her bills paid. She didn’t want to do this anymore than anyone else would.” But her hand was forced by the insurance company. We are disappointed in the outcome, but we understand the verdict. Our client is being attacked on social media. Our client has been through enough.”

  4. I won’t bicker with the result, because the articles are light on relevant facts and I’m not sure how anyone assigns fault in an accident like this. But perhaps everyone would be a little less judgmental of the Aunt’s bringing this action if they understood how liability insurance works. CT is a comparative fault state, meaning that if it is determined that you are more than 50% to blame for the accident, you cannot recover damages (or insurance). Someone needs to make that determination of that comparative liability, so unless fault is clear cut, there is no incentive for insurers to pay without a court judgment. While the insurance company is not named as a defendant in Connecticut, its lawyers are usually the ones handling the suit. The nephew’s listed attorneys routinely represent insurance companies. The case was filed in 2013, within the 2-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. The timing is not suspect, but is consistent with someone both dealing with an injury and trying to negotiate with an insurance company. Given the posture of the case, I would imagine that the insurance company wanted to bring this to a jury because, as we can see from public reaction, no juror would want to be the scrooge who would hold a child responsible for injury caused from a hug. The Aunt’s published testimony, which I imagine went toward the extent of weakness in her hand, was likely taken out of context for dramatic effect. I feel for the entire family who had what was probably, in their minds, an “administrative” matter turned into a ridiculous drama by the press and internet trolls.

  5. Dan W — Is it fair that the attorney’s explanation is BURIED near the bottom of the comments section adjoining in the second article of yours on the subject?

    Does not this merit a comment/clarification in your own copy? Especially after all the hateful comments made by your readers!

    I realize we all have our negative stereotypes about “ambulance chasers” and their greedy clients. But what of the aggressive editors, reporters and TV producers who latched onto this one-sided tawdry story and turned a local family into an object of hate and ridicule? Shame on you.

    And speaking to that plaintiff’s attorney: don’t YOU bear a good deal of the blame for your client’s ruined reputation? How on earth did you THINK this story would play out in the press? I suggest you sign up for some media training!