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Charla Nash Continues Effort To Sue State Over 2009 Chimpanzee Mauling

Charla Nash on Aug. 10, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Charla Nash on Aug. 10, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

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HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – The Connecticut woman mauled by a chimpanzee seeks to challenge the law after being barred from suing the state.

As WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported, Charla Nash is appealing the ruling by the state’s Claims Commissioner who refused to waive the state’s immunity in the case.

Travis the chimp had been singled out by one state official a year before the February 2009 mauling as an accident waiting to happen. The official said at the time that Travis was too powerful to remain as a pet in a residential area of Stamford.

Nash was left blind and had much of her face stripped off in the Feb. 16, 2009 attack. She’s hoping to sue the state to recover money for her mounting medical bills.

The state Assembly Judiciary Committee will hear the issue to decide whether to pass a bill that would reverse the state’s decision to maintain immunity.

“Damages are enormous. Should she be successful, however, the other question is whether we have to determine if the state can be deemed to be at fault,” committee chairman Rep. Gerald Fox told Schneidau. “We need to determine whether or not there is a possibility that the state could be determined to be at fault.”

Nash received a face transplant in 2011. She was mauled as she tried to corral the chimp who’d escaped from his owner, Sandra Herold.

Nash reached a settlement in 2012 with Herold’s estate. Sandra Herold died in 2010.

Nash has tried several times to sue the state for $150 million.

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