Worst. Aunt. Ever.

I seldom reprint news stories from the local media. If it’s already out there, I figure folks will find it.

But this story from the Westport Newshas to be seen — by everyone — to be believed.


In 2011, a boy named Sean turned 8 years old. He had a birthday party at his Westport home.

Riding his new bike, he spotted his aunt. He dropped it and ran to her, joyfully screaming, “Auntie Jen! Auntie Jen!”

“All of a sudden he was there in the air. I had to catch him, and we tumbled onto the ground,” his aunt — Jennifer Connell, a New York human resources manager — recalls.

“I remember him shouting ‘Auntie Jen, I love you,’ and there he was flying at me.”

This is NOT Sean Tarala and Jennifer Connell.

This is NOT Sean and his aunt, Jennifer Connell.

The reason her recollections are relevant, 4 years later, is that Connell is suing her nephew. She says that his “unreasonable” exuberance caused her to break her wrist. She is seeking $127,000 in damages from him. The case is being heard by a 6-person Superior Court jury in Bridgeport. He is the lone defendant.

She did not say anything at the time, she says, because “it was his birthday party and I didn’t want to upset him.”

Yet that broken wrist still haunts her.

“I live in Manhattan in a 3rd-floor walk-up, so it has been very difficult,” she said in court. “And we all know how crowded it is in Manhattan.”

But wait! There’s more!

Recently, she attended a party. “It was difficult to hold my hors d’oeuvre plate,” she told the jurors.

The Westport News story did not say if her voice broke as she described the horrors of her current, plate-holding life.

*Not The Onion.

23 responses to “Worst. Aunt. Ever.

  1. Bruce Fernie SHS 1970

    I’m willing to bet that the nephews parents checked their insurance and said to the Aunt ‘come and get it, it’s not our money and we pay the premiums’.

    Sounds like just another insurance scam/fraud/manipulation.

    Hopefully she will never have children.

  2. Really???? That is one of the sleaziest thing I have heard about in recent memory! Like the kid did it on purpose? It was a freakin accident and let’s face it…these things happen. The child was showing unconditional love and she hits him with a $127,000.00 lawsuit. What is the money going todo to fix her aches and pains. She went from hero to zero aunt in my book!

  3. Insurance fraud, should be part of your “Get Your Free Money Here” story below!

  4. Tom Allen '66

    In the 40-plus years that I’ve lived in NYC since I grew up Westport, I’ve lived in several walk-ups, none of which required me to walk up and down the stairs on my hands.

  5. Not being able to hold her hors d’oevres plate is one of the most tragic and heart-breaking first-world problems I’ve come across. Think she’ll send the money to Lesbos? Not bloody likely. mmm

  6. Ernest Lorimer

    Possibly her health insurer pursuing a subrogation against the homeowners policy and invoking her duty to cooperate.

  7. Megan Acquino Slingo

    I especially love the part about the poor kids mother dying last year! This woman is awful!! As a Mother & an Auntie…it makes me sick to my stomach!!

  8. Mary ruggiero

    Could be , like first comment, the parents don’t want yo or can’t just come up with money for the medical bills…insurance comes in handy. Fraud, who knows, but it has been a long time. Did the cast just come off?

  9. I’m the first to hate sue-ers and their attorneys. But, the reporters really fell down on their job here. (And it’s clearly just one story — nearly identical in the Westport News, NY Daily News, etc. so it’s hard to tell who did the real reporting here.)

    In their haste to latch onto a “man bites dog” story, the journos didn’t bother to ask any questions to determine motive — and, worst of all — they failed to seek the plaintiff’s side of the story.

    Got to say, it sounds like the insurance angle is likely. (And not necessarily fraud, if the there is a real injury.) Why else sue a child who presumably has few assets, but is covered by the Homeowner’s policy?

    Finally, this has got to be unwelcome publicity for a family that has has suffered a loss so recently. If we are to criticize greedy plaintiffs and their attorneys, we should also give equal time to journalists who callously run over peoples’ reputations in pursuit of a few more eyeballs.

  10. I’d like to add (as a non-lawyer), anyone who shouts “insurance fraud” in a public forum without a scintilla of evidence is asking to be sued for libel. Think before you post!

    • The woman just exudes really poor form Peter. Clearly she got what she deserved….nothing!

  11. Okay…why am I not particularly surprised. Sad, yes. Surprised, not so much anymore…

  12. You can’t make this up – talking about self-serving…

  13. Marcy Anson Fralick Staples Class of 1970

    It’s sad that everything comes down to money. In this case, blood money. Ms. Connell qualifies for the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate award for the dubious distinction of having no compassion or empathy for others, and engaging in selfish and narcissistic behaviour.

    You know what Karma is, right?

  14. Adam Schwartz '75

    Something isn’t right. This doesn’t make any sense. There’s got to be more to this story! What is her relationship to the father? How are they related? His sister? The dead wife’s sister? I want to know more. I think there’s a more interesting and messed up story.

  15. She lost in court.

    • Mary ruggiero

      What I can’t believe is the rancor of some of these posts. The judgements that are offered about a situation of which we only know a few details. Amazing!

  16. David Stalling

    Seriously? You’ve got to be kidding? What sort of decent, self-respecting socialite doesn’t have a Garçon de cuisine to serve hors-d’oeuvres?

  17. Sanity can still rule.
    I just received an email that the jury ruled against the aunt

  18. Marcy Anson Fralick Staples Class of 1970

    Apparently the jury didn’t have any sympathy for Ms. Connell. It only took them 25 minutes to clear Sean. Ms. Connell was seen fleeing the Courtroom in Bridgeport. She’s being referred to in the New York Post article as the Auntie Christ. It’s going to be tough for her living on E. 73rd Street without someone to hold her hors d’oeuvre plate for her or help her upstairs to her 3rd floor apartment. My heart breaks.

  19. Court ruling or no court ruling … what a thoroughly despicable woman. I shudder to think about the damage this did to an innocent child’s psyche. Irreparable is my guess.

  20. Robin Scarella

    This has to be worst commentary on human beings. Sad Westport family. Glad at least aunt NYC. Wonder who diirtbag attorney to take such a case . Thank goodness she lost.

  21. Suzanne Urban

    I hope the boy will receive plenty of support from the community after this ordeal as well as his Dad, they’ve been through enough, and I think Westport will be there for them. I can’t bring myself to seriously consider the argument of a woman who laments she couldn’t hold up her plate of hors d’oeuvres at a party, but I can suggest she try balancing it on her head leaving her wrist free to rest on the bar stool.