DonLever Posted October 14, 2015 Share Posted October 14, 2015 from the BBC: A jury has ruled against a woman who sued her 12-year-old nephew for a hug that caused her to break her wrist. Four years ago, Jennifer Connell attended her then-eight-year-old nephew's birthday party at his home in Westport, Connecticut. Birthday boy Sean Tarala leaped into his aunt's arms and they fell to the ground, causing her an injury that she said still plagued her. But the jury at Bridgeport's Superior Court ruled in favour of the boy. Recalling the fall, Ms Connell said: "I had to catch him and we tumbled onto the ground." "I remember him shouting, 'Auntie Jen, I love you,' and there he was flying at me." Ms Connell, 54, told the courtroom that she broke her wrist and has struggled ever since with the injury. She was asking for $127,000 (£83,000) in damages, despite the fact that she described her nephew as "very loving, sensitive". The local paper said Tarala was in court with his father looking "confused". Michael Green, a professor at Lake Forest School of Law, says that suing a child is perfectly legal. "You can sue anybody," he says. The lawsuit asked the jury to find that Tarala acted "unreasonably" for an eight-year-old when he jumped into Connell's arms, says Nora Freeman Engstrom, a professor at Stanford Law School. "It's much harder to prove the negligence of a child, so these suits face an uphill road. While adults are negligent if they fail to display reasonable care under the circumstances, children are held to a relaxed standard," Ms Engstrom told the BBC. "The general rule is: As long as a child is not engaged in an adult activity (and hugging certainly does not qualify), a child must only exercise the care that a reasonable child of the child's actual age, intelligence, and experience would exercise." Ms Connell told the jurors that living on the third-floor of an apartment building in Manhattan had aggravated her injury, and that recently "it was difficult to hold my hors d'oeuvre plate" at a party. The jury had little sympathy. They returned from deliberation in just 20 minutes with a verdict in favour of Tarala, and awarded Ms Connell nothing. "We just couldn't find him, you know, liable for what happened," a juror told The New York Post. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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