When A Family Sues Itself and Goes To Court
I just read a stunning (and not in a good way) news story about an aunt who sued her then 8-year-old nephew. The story reported the aunt was injured when, at his eighth birthday party, the nephew ran into her arms and jumped up for a hug, knocking her over and breaking her wrist. Happy Birthday indeed.
While this sounds like the most awful aunt ever, and in fact she was vilified as just that, the fact is the lawsuit was more about an insurance issue than about a feuding family. She wanted her nephew’s parents’ homeowners insurance to pay her medical bills after her insurance company offered only $1 compensation. In the state of Connecticut where she lives the law states she had to sue an individual. Since she and her nephew fell together, his had to be the name on the suit. But oh the agony in the backlash once this story broke. For a time, to literally add insult to injury, this woman became perhaps the most hated woman in America. Clearly, not deservedly so and her family is still loving and intact.
But what if you really are part of a feuding family lawsuit? Will it destroy your family? Let me answer from my experience. It’s truly one of life’s most painful experiences to face a family member in court. The litany of reasons stretch from being betrayed by people you trusted to realizing your family isn’t loving or close or made up of people you can count on. It shakes you to your core to know you can be betrayed for money. And it likely results in the permanent loss of honesty or trust that is essential to close family bonds.
I have been in court twice with family members. I didn’t want to be there either time. I wasn’t the one seeking the money. I’d rather have been anywhere else than in front of a judge pouring out my heart and soul about my fractured family. If you are enmeshed in a battle with a family member, I strongly urge you to reconsider. The money you might win in court will never compensate you for the loss of family.
It’s not worth it. Even if you win, you lose.