On Friday, March 21, a woman spoke to the Connecticut legislative committee in regards to her $150 million lawsuit against the state. The lawsuit is a result of a 2009 chimpanzee attack that left her disfigured.
Charla Nash is suing the state of Connecticut claiming they knew the animal was dangerous but failed to protect her. One of the state claims commissioners refused her request that would allow her to sue.
The General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee is considering a bill that would override that decision and allow the lawsuit. Connecticut is for the most part immune against lawsuits unless the commissioner approved the lawsuit.
The chimpanzee, Travis was owned by Sandy Herold, a friend of Nash’s. Nash had been visiting Herold’s home when she was brutally attacked by the chimpanzee.
During the chimpanzee attack in Stamford, Nash lost both of her hands, was blinded and had to undergo a face transplant. She needs the money from the lawsuit to help her pay her medical bills and give her the opportunity to live a comfortable life.
Nash is using a memo by the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection that said Travis was “an accident waiting to happen.”
The memo which was written a year before Nash was attacked went on to say that the chimp “could seriously hurt someone.” Nash claims that in light of the memo it is clear that the state should have seized the animal and that if it had, she wouldn’t have been injured.
When police responded to Herold’s home, Travis ripped open the door of a police cruiser and flashed his blood covered fangs prompting the officer to shoot the chimpanzee.
State officials claim that the law does not support her claims for a lawsuit. Attorney General George Jensen revealed that while he does have sympathy for Nash, the laws of the state do not support her claims.
In 2012, Charla Nash reached a $4 million settlement with the estate of Sandy Herold who died in 2010.
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