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Charla Nash To Appeal To Conn. Lawmakers For Right To Sue State Over Chimp Attack

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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/AP) – The woman mauled by a chimpanzee in 2009 is making a last-ditch appeal, hoping Connecticut lawmakers will allow her the right to sue the state for $150 million.

Charla Nash contends the state had the authority and obligation to seize the dangerous animal. But a state commissioner last year dismissed Nash’s request for permission to sue the state government.

Travis the chimp lived in Stamford with his owner, Sandra Herold. Nash was mauled on Feb. 16, 2009 as she tried to corral the chimp who’d escaped.

In a recorded appeal for state lawmakers, Nash speaks of her life after the attack.

“It’s a different world to not be able to see again or to use your hands and just do things for yourself,” she said. “I miss waking up in the morning with the sun. It was always nice to look out, to see what kind of day it was going to be.”

Nash wants a judge of the court to decide if she’s entitled to $150 million in damages and is asking lawmakers to give her that right, WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported.

Nash is making her plea to “have my day in court” on a video that is being sent to members of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee. In it, she says, “I feel like I’m locked up.”

A public hearing is scheduled Friday for a bill that would override the claims commissioner’s decision.

Nash was blinded, lost both hands and underwent a face transplant in 2011 following the attack.

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

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