The family of Charla Nash, a victim of a chimp attack, is set to sue the state of Connecticut for $150 million after it left her without a face and arms in 2009. The chimp was privately owned and the attack occurred when she was asked to help put the animal back into its cage. However, it turned on her, leaving her injured for life, and now her family is suing for compensation.
If you ask most lawyers, they will tell you that she has a case because the state knew that the animal, named Travis, posed a risk and was dangerous. Lawyers will argue that they did not have any or place any restrictions on preventing anyone from owning such a dangerous animal.
“We believe the evidence will show that the state, acting through the Department of Environmental Protection, failed to adequately address a serious public-safety issue that resulted in tragic consequences for our client,” Matt Newman, the attorney for Nash’s family, said in a statement.
“The DEP had information for at least five years that would have permitted that agency to have removed Travis from its residence,” Nash’s attorneys wrote. “If the DEP had acted prudently, Charla Nash would not have been devastatingly injured.”
Meanwhile, Connecticut’s attorney general, says that Nash should not be able to sue the state and taxpayers should not have to pay for her injuries suffered at the hands of a privately owned animal.
“They have to be able to prove that the state’s negligence was the sole cause of what happened, and in this case, pretty clearly that’s not the situation,” George Jepsen said.
The attorney general went on to say that Nash and her family should be seeking compensation from, Travis’s owner or other parties. However, Sandra Herold, who owned Travis passed away in 2010.
After the attack, police shot and killed Travis.