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Connecticut Chimp Attack Victim Denied $150M Lawsuit

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Travis the Chimp hugs Charla Nash / Credit CBS

Travis the Chimp hugs Charla Nash / Credit CBS

Associated Press Release

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- A Connecticut woman disfigured in a chimpanzee attack has been denied permission to sue the state.

Charla Nash's family sought permission to sue Connecticut for $150 million but was denied Friday by state Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr. The state is immune from lawsuits unless they're allowed by the commissioner.

Nash was blinded, lost both hands and underwent a face transplant after being mauled in Stamford in 2009.

Nash reached a $4 million settlement last year with the estate of chimp owner Sandra Herold, who died in 2010.

Nash's lawyer said the state should be held responsible for not seizing the animal before the attack, because it was warned the animal was dangerous. State Attorney General George Jepsen said the state shouldn't be held liable for the mauling.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The brothers of a Connecticut woman mauled and blinded by a chimpanzee say she feared the animal might hurt someone and described him as mean and so strong that she had to repair his cage several times.

Michael and Stephen Nash's comments to The Associated Press provide the first public look at Charla Nash's dealings with Travis, a 200-pound chimpanzee that went berserk when his owner asked Nash to help lure him back into his house.

The chimp ripped off Nash's hands, nose, lips and eyelids in a February attack, and she remains hospitalized in stable condition at the Cleveland Clinic.

Nash was a friend and employee of the chimp's owner, Sandra Herold of Stamford. Nash's family has filed a $50 million lawsuit against Herold. Herold's attorney says there was no way to predict Travis would attack Nash.

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