Chimpanzee attack victim seeks permission to sue state
Friday, March 21, 2014 - 01:43
March 21 - A woman whose face was mauled by a chimpanzee testifies at a hearing in Connecticut for right to sue. Vanessa Johnston reports.
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EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: CONTAINS GRAPHIC MATERIAL
A 60-year-old woman whose face and hands were ripped off by a friend's chimpanzee in 2009, arrives at a public hearing in Connecticut on Friday.
Charla Nash is seeking permission to sue the state for $150 million in damages.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIMPANZEE VICTIM, CHARLA NASH, SAYING:
"I'm hoping I can have a lawsuit that will allow me the means to pay my medical bills, and the chance to live a comfortable life."
This was Nash before the attack. And after.
She has undergone a face transplant and numerous other surgeries.
Unable to take care of herself, she now lives in a convalescent facility.
Nash's lawyers say that before the attack, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment Protection described the illegally owned 200-pound chimp as a serious threat to public safety.
But Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen denies the state is responsible.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CONNECTICUT ATTORNEY GENERAL GEORGE JEPSEN SAYING:
"Regardless of the extent of Ms. Nash's injuries or whether in hindsight DEEP (Department of Energy & Environmental Protection) could have done things differently or better, the law does not support this claim nor is it in the public interest to grant it. Your decision should turn on a legal question, the answer to which is clear. Did the state owe a legal duty to protect Ms. Nash from attack by a privately owned chimp on private property? It did not."
The hearing will determine whether Nash has the right for a court to decide whether the state is negligent.
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