All’s Well That Ends Well With The Aunt Who Sued Her 12-Year-Old Nephew

Shock! Outrage! Disbelief! Fist-shaking! Florida! Those were just some of the many initial reactions that followed the news that a 54-year-old woman was suing her 12-year-old nephew over hug-related injuries. The story actually comes to us from Westport, Connecticut, although it certainly has that unmistakable Florida stink to it, and it initially seemed so unbelievable and morally rotten that it was almost too good for even The Onion. But it was true and Jennifer Connell was, in fact, suing her nephew for $127,000 after he broke her wrist jumping into her arms for an over-exuberant hug at his birthday party four years ago. The story blew up this week because Auntie Jen had her day in court, and she lost because there is occasionally justice in this cruel, bizarre world.

If people were able to get past the initial headlines without freaking out and exploding in internet rage, they were in for an even bigger treat. Connell told the jury that the injury has damaged her social life, actually admitting in court that she was “at a party recently, and it was difficult to hold my hors d’oeuvre plate.” While it is unknown how hard the six-person jury laughed in response, her lawyers still ultimately argued that any “reasonable” 8-year-old “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.” So parents, make sure to remember that the next time your child does literally anything.

After the decision was announced, Connell’s lawyers switched to defense because of how much their client had been vilified on the internet in a matter of two days. They explained that this was never about suing a child, but instead about holding the homeowner’s insurance company responsible for her medical bills, because Connell’s insurance hasn’t covered the surgeries and treatment, while the woman is possibly facing another operation. But as far as the relationship between the aunt and her nephew, all seems to be well as they appeared together on Today to tell the world, “I love her and she loves me.” And they lived happily ever after, with two hands on the hors d’oeuvre plate.

For more on this strange legal battle, anchors Tom Storey and Briana Lane weigh in on today’s episode of The Desk.