'Aunt' says lawsuit against boy was insurance case

Woman sues 8-year-old family member for 'forceful greeting'
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    Woman sues 8-year-old family member for 'forceful greeting'

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Woman sues 8-year-old family member for 'forceful greeting' 01:02

Story highlights

  • The boy, now 12, says Connell "would never do anything to hurt the family or myself"
  • Jennifer Connell filed a lawsuit against the boy seeking $127,000 in damages
  • Jurors took about 40 minutes to deliberate Tuesday before deciding in the child's favor

(CNN)Medical costs. Lost wages. Pain and mental anguish.

That's what a woman says she suffered when her then-8-year-old family member knocked her to the ground in what was described in a complaint as a "forceful greeting."
    Jennifer Connell filed a lawsuit against the boy seeking $127,000 in damages, CNN affiliate WFSB reported.
    Jurors took about 40 minutes to deliberate Tuesday before deciding in the child's favor, according to WFSB.
    Video shows Connell leaving court in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She did not talk to reporters, but she spoke to CNN later by phone.
    "This was meant to be a simple homeowners insurance case," she said. "Connecticut law is such that I was advised by counsel that this is the way a suit is meant to be worded."
    Connell said that an individual, not an insurance company, had to be named as a defendant.
    "I adore this child. I would never want to hurt him. He would never want to hurt me," she told CNN.
    The boy refers to Connell as his aunt, although she said he is the son of her cousin. The family remains close. Just a few weeks ago, Connell said, she took the boy out shopping for his Halloween costume.
    "It's amazing the power that the Internet has that something can go viral, completely out of context," she said. "I'm certainly not trying to retire to some villa in the south of France. I'm simply trying to pay off my medical bills."
    The boy, Sean Tarala, defended Connell on NBC's "Today" show on Thursday.
    "She would never do anything to hurt the family or myself. And she loves us," Sean, now 12, told "Today."
    According to the complaint, which was posted by WFSB, the incident happened at the boy's birthday party in 2011.
    "The injuries, losses and harms to the plaintiff were caused by the negligence and carelessness of the minor defendant in that a reasonable eight 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," it read.
    The complaint states that Connell suffered an injury to her left arm, including a fracture, requiring surgery.