Chimp attack victim wants $150M
Sat August 11, 2012 11:07am
A US state is fighting a $150 million claim by a woman who was attacked by a pet chimpanzee, forcing her to undergo a face transplant.
But the victim, who has amassed millions of dollars in medical and other bills, said she's holding out hope.
While the 10-year-old chimpanzee Travis that attacked her was a privately owned pet on private property, Charla Nash is arguing for permission to sue Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which she holds responsible for not seizing the animal despite a state biologist's warning it was dangerous.
"I hope and pray that the commissioner will give me my day in court," Ms Nash told reporters following the hearing. "And I also pray ... this never happens to anyone else again. It is not nice."
Ms Nash, 57, was attacked in February 2009 by a friend's 200-pound pet chimpanzee after its owner asked Ms Nash to help lure it back into her house in Stamford, Connecticut.
The animal, named Travis, went berserk and ripped off Ms Nash's nose, lips, eyelids and hands before being shot to death by police.
Ms Nash was blinded in the attack. She underwent a face and double hand transplant in 2011, but the hands failed to thrive because of complications and were removed.
She said yesterday she still hopes to get a double hand transplant.
Charles Willinger, Ms Nash's attorney, said his client lives in a nursing home outside Boston "in total darkness," ''without eyes, without hands."
He said she is "permanently scarred, emotionally, physically" and will never be able to see her daughter again or hold her hand.
He said Ms Nash "endures loneliness, despair and suffering beyond anyone's comprehension in this room," and urged Mr Vance to be the "conscience of this state" when deciding whether to allow her to sue.