This week, 54-year-old Upper East Side resident Jennifer Connell appeared in court to testify in the lawsuit against her 12-year-old nephew, who accidentally injured her while giving her a hug. The suit was swiftly dismissed—but not before becoming a subject of ridicule around the Internet. But Connell's lawyer told the Post today that the insurance company left her no choice whether or not to sue the child.
"From the start, this was a case was about one thing: getting medical bills paid by homeowner’s insurance," law firm Jainchill & Beckert said in a statement. "Our client was very reluctant to pursue this case, but in the end she had no choice…Her hand was forced by the insurance company. We are disappointed in the outcome, but we understand the verdict."
According to Connecticut law, people who file injury claims on their insurance must take the responsible party to court. Jainchill & Beckert claim that the insurance company only agreed to pay $1 for her broken wrist. Although the insurance company wasn't named, the child was represented by Traveler's in court, according to Gawker.
The incident happened when the child leapt into his aunt's arms when she arrived at his eighth birthday party in 2011; he accidentally broke her wrist in the process, which made it very difficult for her to, in her own words, "hold my hors d’oeuvres plate" at parties. Although she called him a “very loving, sensitive” boy, Connell said in the suit that "the negligence and carelessness" of the child—he "should have known that a forceful greeting" would cause injury—meant he needed to be held accountable.
Her lawyers asked that people let her move on: "Our client is being attacked on social media,” they said. "She suffered a horrific injury. She had two surgeries and is potentially facing a third. Our client has been through enough."
Fair enough, but for the record, hors d’oeuvres are for immediately ingesting, not holding.