The Upper East Side woman who unsuccessfully sued her 12-year-old nephew for injuring her wrist during a very big hug appeared on The Today Show this morning with her nephew to show they love each other and everyone misunderstood the nature of the lawsuit. "It sounded terrible to me from the very beginning," said 54-year-old Jennifer Connell. "At the start of this, I said, 'I don't understand why. I don't want to sue Sean.'" Watch below.
Connell became an object of fascination around the Internet this week after the tabloids picked up the story of her lawsuit, which alleged that then-8-year-old Sean accidentally broke her wrist when he gave her an exuberant hug and knocked her to the ground during his birthday party in Connecticut in 2011. Connell said she was "still in shock" and confused by the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the suit, which she says she was advised was the only way to get homeowners' insurance for her injury and the subsequent surgeries it required.
"I'm no legal expert but as I understand it, in Connecticut, it's not possible to name an insurance company in a suit of a homeowners insurance case," Connell said. "An individual has to be named, and in this case, because Sean and I had this fall together, I was informed that Sean had to be named. I was never comfortable with that. But it was explained to me that it's just a technicality, or just the way the language had to be used, the way the case had to be framed."
A Connecticut jury decided that her lawsuit did not warrant $127,000 in damages. Connell hopes that the focus now is shifted away from her and onto the insurance companies and the legal steps standing in the way of injured parties: "I just feel like perhaps it's the way the legal system is set up, so that the insurance companies aren't necessarily in the spotlight for stepping up and taking responsibility for handling claims on properties."
Sean defended his aunt as well: "She would never do anything to hurt either the family or myself." When asked what he wants people to know about his aunt, he added, "That I love her and she loves me."