The aunt who sued her nephew appeared on Today Thursday morning, along with that nephew, and the two insisted there's no bad blood between them. "I love her and she loves me," said Sean Tarala, now 12, who was sued for $127,000 over an exuberant hug he gave his aunt, Jennifer Connell, when he was just 8, causing her to fall and break her wrist. "She would never do anything to hurt the family or myself." As Connell's lawyers previously explained, insurance laws forced her to sue her nephew in order to get her medical bills paid by homeowners insurance, and she confirmed on Today that she had no real desire to do so.
"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. ... This was simply a case of formality with an insurance claim. I said at the start of this, 'I don't understand why. I don't want to sue Sean.'" She said it was "heartbreaking and really painful" to be vilified after her suit made the news. "I am just confused. I just feel that perhaps it's the way the legal system is set up, so the insurance companies aren't necessarily in the spotlight for stepping up and taking responsibilities for handling claims [on] properties." The jury decided against her, and it's not clear what will happen next. (Read more lawsuit stories.)