Charla Nash testifies before state lawmakers in bid to sue Conn. over 2009 chimpanzee attack

Charla Nash claims the state knew the chimpanzee was dangerous and should have removed it from the Stamford home where it lived as a pet. (3/21/14)

HARTFORD - Charla Nash testified before state lawmakers today as part of her last-ditch effort to sue the state over the 2009 chimpanzee attack that nearly killed her.

Nash is asking lawmakers to let a judge hear her case. She is trying to sue the state for $150 million.

A friend’s pet chimpanzee mauled Nash. She lost much of her face and hands in the attack, and has since received a full face transplant. Her attorneys argue that a state agency knew the chimp was dangerous for years leading up to the attack, but no one took any action.

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“I feel the state knew what was happening and failed to protect me,” she says.

The state counters that a regulatory failure doesn't equal liability.

The state’s claims commissioner denied Nash’s case last year. Lawmakers on the Judiciary Committee have until April 2 to decide whether to pass this issue onto the full General Assembly. If they don't, Nash will not be able to sue the state.

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