*I will spare you the hard-to-look-at photos. But you may recall the horrific story about a woman who was disfigured by her employer/friends pet chimpanzee in 2009.
Charla Nash was at the Stamford home of her friend and employer, Sandra Herold, when Herold’s pet chimp attacked her, leaving her blind and disfigured. The animal was shot dead at the scene by a Stamford police officer.
On Friday Nash, who has undergone a face transplant and numerous other surgeries on her face and hands, appeared in the Connecticut State Capitol to ask permission to sue the state for $150 million in damages. Her legal team claims the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment Protection (DEEP) knew the situation before the attack and had even described “Travis” the 200-lb, illegally-owned chimp as a “dangerous threat to society.”
“My name is Charla Nash and I’m hoping you can make a decision based on the fact that the state knew what was happening and failed to protect me,” said Nash, 60, at the State Capitol.
She wants lawmakers to pass legislation overruling a June decision by state Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr. that denied her request to waive Connecticut’s sovereign immunity from lawsuits.
“I want the chance to pay my medical bills and live a comfortable life. But I also want to make sure that what happened to me never happens to anyone else ever again,” said Nash, who wore a white hat with ear flaps over the gauze protecting her still-healing head.
In urging lawmakers to reject Nash’s request, Attorney General George Jepsen claims that it would “open the floodgates for unlimited lawsuits and liability that would bankrupt the state,” adding, “Regardless of the extent of Ms. Nash’s injuries, or whether in hindsight, DEEP could have done things differently or better, the law does not support this claim. Nor is it in the public interest to grant it,” said Jepsen at the hearing.
Nash had filed a lawsuit against Herold , who died in 2010 and in 2012, a settlement was reached in the amount of $4 million, nearly the entire amount of Herold’s estate.
Nash’s lawyer, Charles Willinger of Bridgeport, apparently made a very compelling presentation in requesting his client have her day in court as members of the 45-member committee seemed stunned by it.
“You and Charla Nash have given us a lot to go over,” State Senator John Kissel, a member of the Judiciary Committee, told Willinger.
“Everyone knows I walked in here today more inclined to agree with the attorney general. But there is a lot of information you have brought to our attention that we need to carefully consider.”
Thanks to Yahoo News for information in this story.