HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Connecticut woman who was severely mauled by a chimpanzee plans to sue the state for $150 million.
In February 2009, Charla Nash was attacked by Sandra Herold’s 200-pound pet chimp Travis as she was trying to lure it back into Herold’s house. It tore ripped off her nose, lips, eyelids and hands. The attack left her blinded.
Police shot the chimp dead.
Nash says Gov. Dannel Malloy, who was Stamford’s mayor at the time, should have had the animal locked up after a previous escape. She also blames state officials for not removing the chimp.
This weekend, she told a Connecticut newspaper: “I don’t know what the future’s going to bring, so I don’t get my hopes up.”
Nash’s lawyers say state environmental officials received reports and complaints about the danger and that the state was required by law to remove Travis, but did nothing.
She said the chimpanzee was “a known danger” in a residential area.
If her request to sue the state is denied by the Claims Commission, she can appeal to the legislature. Nash’s lawyers have hired a lobbyist to represent her if necessary at the state Capitol.
The state has “sovereign immunity” against most lawsuits unless such permission is granted.
“I hope that I do get my day in court,” Nash said.
Last year, the 57-year-old Nash had the full face transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston in May with dozens of doctors during a 20 hour operation.
She is one of roughly a dozen recipients of face transplants worldwide.
Nash’s family is also suing Herold’s estate for $50 million. Herold died last year of an aneurysm.
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