As I was reading the story below, I thought I must be reading The Onion, only to later see that it's The Guardian instead.


A woman who sued her 12-year-old nephew over a birthday hug that left her with a broken wrist has been awarded zero damages by a Connecticut jury.

... “I remember him shouting, ‘Auntie Jen, I love you!’ and there he was flying at me,” Connell is quoted as saying in court.

The aunt, who was seeking $127,000 in damages, told the court that she had found it “difficult to hold my hors d’oeuvre plate” at a recent party.

Several questions come to mind:

  • Is this possible only in America, or can you sue minors for these sort of things in any other country, too?

  • Can the 12-year-old nephew file a counter action for emotional distress, especially now that he was declared not liable?

  • 2
    From what I've read, that law suit was needed to get insurance to pay for the three surgeries she needed. Presumably, the nephew knew this. gawker.com/…
    – YviDe
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 20:37
  • 1
    There has actually been a report about a woman suing herself - to force a payout by an insurance if she lost as the defendant.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 21:22
  • And are you talking criminal or civil law? In Germany at least, under civil law, you can sue everyone, there is no age limit.
    – YviDe
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 4:36

1 Answer 1


Suing relatives or friends to trigger an insurance policy is sometimes necessary, particularly if the insurer is being recalcitrant. Apart from that it is pointless to sue someone who has no money!

In common law jurisdictions you can of course sue anyone for negligence. One of the things that you have to prove to be successful is that the defendant owed a duty of care. It may be difficult to prove that a child had such a duty.

  • Can you go into some more detail how does it work practically? I mean, presumably, if you're being sued, you'd want to defend yourself. If it's the insurance company that's at stake, why would the individual want to cooperate and claim innocence? Does their insurance company take care of their defence? Do they have to cooperate?
    – cnst
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 2:34

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