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Woman Loses $127K Lawsuit Against Young Nephew Who Injured Her During Hug

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- An Upper East Side woman who sued her nephew for injuries sustained during a greeting at his birthday party has lost her case.

Jennifer Connell filed a $127,000 lawsuit against Sean Tarala, now 12, claiming the Westport boy acted unreasonably when he leaped into her arms to greet her at his eighth birthday party.

But on Tuesday, a six-member Superior Court jury found Sean not liable for the injuries sustained by his aunt, CBS2's Jessica Schneider reported.

"We just couldn't find the little boy liable for what happened," said one juror.

Connell said when the child jumped, she tumbled to the ground as she tried to catch him.

"I remember him shouting, 'Auntie Jen I love you,' and there he was flying at me," she said. "All of a sudden, he was there in the air. I had to catch him, and we tumbled to the ground."

She said in a complaint that the fall caused a fracture in her wrist that required surgery.

Connell had asked the jury to find the boy liable due to lasting physical impairment, 1010 WINS' Al Jones reported.

The 53-year-old Connell testified she loves her nephew but thinks he should be held accountable.

Connell admitted in court that she did not complain about the injury at the time, but did mention the injury made life tough over the next few years, WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported.

"I live in Manhattan in a third-floor walk-up so it has been very difficult," she testified, according to the Connecticut Post. "And we all know how crowded it is in Manhattan.

"I was at a party recently, and it was difficult to hold my hors d'oeuvre plate," she added.

As CBS2's Dave Carlin reported, Connell ignored reporter's questions inside and outside of the Fairfield County Courthouse.

The boy was the only defendant named in the case. Sean and his father were not in the courtroom when the verdict came down in their favor.

"I think it's ludicrous," said neighbor Curt Tetrault.

Tetrault, who lives next door to Sean and his father, was appalled to hear Connell was seeking more than $100,000 to pay for her medical bills.

"He's 12. He's very independent and he's a good kid," said Mrs. Tetrault.

Sean's mother, Lisa, died last year.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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