Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Price of Youthful Exuberance

According to a jury in Bridgeport, Connecticut, yesterday afternoon, the going rate for it is $0.00

Nada.  

Zilch. 

Jennifer Connell, a fifty-four year-old New York woman, had sued her nephew, Sean Tarala of Westport, Connecticut, because - as per Ms. Connell - four years ago, then-eight-year-old Sean had acted unreasonably when he exuberantly responded to her arrival at his birthday party. On the witness stand this past Friday, she recounted for the jury what horror befell her upon her arrival: 

According to Connell, Sean's behavior was clearly negligent and entirely unexpected.  After all, who has ever heard of a little boy ever expressing any enthusiasm at (a) his 8th birthday party; (b) the appearance of a favorite aunt; or (c) the appearance of that favorite aunt at his 8th birthday party?  Apparently, not "Auntie Jen".   Perhaps had she spent more time with Sean before he reached the advanced age of eight, she could have communicated to him the importance of her being able to walk up three flights of stairs to her apartment...although I must confess that as a non-physician I fail to appreciate the relationship between her broken wrist and her ability to ambulate up and down three flights of stairs.   
She definitely should have made him aware of the importance of her social life and reminded him of the hardship associated with not being able to cram a handful of pigs in a blanket or crab puffs into her mouth with her usual alacrity because of the difficulty associated with holding her hors d'oeuvre plate.  It is a little-known fact that there were not Twelve Labors of Hercules, as commonly believed, but thirteen.   The final one, The Impossible-to-Balance Hors D'oeuvre Plate, is often omitted from scholastic textbooks out of concern that no child would believe that Hercules successfully completed that Labor, which Zeus himself referred to as "The Triple Lindy of Labors". 
On Tuesday afternoon, a six-member jury unanimously rejected Ms. Connell's claim that Sean's negligence had caused her to suffer damages in the amount of $127,000.  Sean, the jury unanimously ruled, was not liable for his actions.  
Much to Ms. Connell's relief, no doubt, the jury was not asked to assess her liability for her action in filing a lawsuit against her young nephew.  Considering it took them only twenty-five minutes of deliberation to exonerate Sean, methinks she would not have enjoyed their verdict.  
-AK 

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