CNN, the Washington Post, People Magazine, the Hartford Courant and several other news sources have picked up the story, making Westport national news in a matter of hours.
On Oct. 13, 2015, a jury in Bridgeport, Connecticut, ruled that 12-year-old Westport resident Sean Tarala does not have to pay his aunt, Jennifer Connell, for breaking her wrist in an enthusiastic hug at his eighth birthday party.
Connell had attempted to sue Tarala for $27,000 due to pain and discomfort. She claims the injury had significant impact on her life, which she exemplified as having difficulty holding an hor d’oeuvres plate.
According to the CT Post, Connell believes that Tarala is liable because “the injuries, losses and harms to the plaintiff were caused by the negligence and carelessness of the minor defendant in that a reasonable [8-year-old] under those circumstances 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.”
In response to his aunt’s accusations, in court, Tarala, accompanied by his father, sat looking confused reported the CT Post.
The jury took less than 25 minutes to agree that Tarala did not owe Connell any money, and the CT Post claims Connell “showed no emotion to the verdict.”
“In any other positive case, I’d be super happy about Westport making national news. But this story…kind of mocks Westport and seems to be shedding negative light that I don’t think our town deserves,” Jordan Goodness ’16 said.