Aunt loses $176,000 claim over 8-year-old nephew's 'over-exuberant' hug

Fairfield County Courthouse. Picture: Google Street View

Whatever the outcome of the court case, it was always going to be a very frosty Christmas for one Connecticut family.

Fortunately for 12-year-old Sean Tarala, he won’t have to find $US127,000 ($AU176,000) to pay his aunt after she sued him for an over-exuberant hug when he was eight.

Human resources manager Jennifer Connell waited just 25 minutes for a jury to toss out her claim that nephew Sean was liable for the broken wrist she received when he welcomed her to his 8th birthday party in 2011 with a leaping hug.

She said her life had not been the same since.

“I live in Manhattan in a third-floor walkup so it has been very difficult,” Connell told the Connecticut Superior Court in Bridgeport on Friday. “And we all know how crowded it is in Manhattan.”

She also said she had been a to a party recently where she found it “difficult to hold my hors d’oeuvres plate”.

Of the fateful day back in 2011, she said all she could remember now was “him shouting, ‘Auntie Jen I love you,’ and there he was flying at me.”

Sean’s mother wasn’t able to be in court today to see the case against her son thrown out. She died last year.

Right up to the end, Connell’s lawyer, William Beckert, pressed on with the claim that the then 8-year-old “should have known better”.

“We do not take great pleasure in bringing a minor to court,” Beckert told the court. “She is not here enjoying a moment of this.”

Sean wasn’t in the courtroom today to hear the final verdict. Connell reportedly left the courthouse without saying a word after it was handed down.

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