Aunt who sued nephew over hug, broken wrist says she was forced to take case to court

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (Oct. 15, 2015) – The aunt who sued her nephew after breaking her wrist during an energetic hug four years ago said she had to take the case to court.

Jennifer Connell made national headlines this week when the story came to light. Connell sued her nephew for $127,000, claiming the boy’s hug in 2011 caused her to break her wrist and adversely affected her quality of life. The hug happened when she showed up to his birthday party; he ran up and hugged her, sending them tumbling to the ground. She broke her wrist in the fall.

Connell testified against the boy, who’s now 12 years old, during court proceedings. A jury found in favor of her nephew Tuesday.

According to WTIC, Connell’s attorneys said the lawsuit was never really about the hug. They released a statement on her behalf, saying the case went to court because of problems with insurance:

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.

In a second statement, the attorneys said Connell was forced to go to court:

It’s important to understand that this was an issue of medical insurance litigation forced upon our client to get insurers to pay for necessary and significant surgical costs, is more fairly viewed on that basis rather than as a family matter, and we continue to believe she deserved the best possible legal representation.

In court, Connell said she loves her nephew but believes he should be held responsible for her injury. Attorneys said she was “reluctant to pursue the case” but “had no choice but to sue” her nephew.

“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,” her attorneys said in a statement. “Our client is being attacked on social media. Our client has been through enough.”

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