A human resources manager from Manhattan initiated a legal action against her 12-year-old nephew after he allegedly injured her. In the lawsuit, the woman claimed that her nephew jumped into her arms several years ago, in 2011, during a celebration for his eighth birthday.
According to Jennifer Connell's lawsuit, her nephew was acting unreasonably when he lept into her arms. The energetic greeting caused the woman to fall backward and break her wrist.
Asked for $127K in Damages
The testimony claimed that the nephew was riding his bicycle near his home when Connell showed up for his birthday party. Connell said that her nephew was shouting that he loved her when he lept into her arms and threw her backward.
The aunt demanded $127,000 in compensation for her injuries, which she said recently made it hard for her to hold an hors d'oevre plate while attending a social gathering. She said that the injuries made her life in crowded Manhattan much more difficult.
Lawyers representing the aunt said, "We do not take great pleasure in bringing a minor to court ... She is not here enjoying a moment of this." However, the woman's attorneys claim that the 8-year-old nephew should have known better than to jump into his aunt's arms.
Jury Denies the Woman's Claims
The panel of jurors only required 25 minutes to reach their decision, which was to award the woman zero damages in the case.
Had the factual circumstances in this case been different, the woman may have had a valid claim for damages. For example, if she had been in a supermarket and an adult stranger jumped on her and tried to force an unwelcome hug that resulted in injuries, she might be able to pursue claims against the individual. However, in this case, it was her nephew, who made an error in judgment -- likely due to his young age. Not all accidents happen due to another person's fault or negligence. Sometimes they are just accidents. In the context of personal injury law
, it is important to recognize the difference.
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