Carla Nash, the Connecticut woman who was almost killed after she was mauled by a friend's chimpanzee in 2009, will make her last appeal to state lawmakers on Friday to allow her to proceed with a $150 million lawsuit against the state, according to CNN.
Nash would reportedly use the money partly to pay for transplants for both of her hands, which were ripped apart in the attack at the friend’s house. Nash also needed to have a face transplant and a number of surgeries after the ape tore through her eyes, nose and lips, the Raw Story explained. The shocking incident came to an end when police shot and killed the chimp, which had appeared in a few TV ad campaigns.
Nash spokesperson Shelly Sindland told CNN that a $4 million settlement Nash received from the chimp’s owner, Sandra Herold, is hardly enough to cover the victim's medical expenses.
Representatives of Nash also released a brief video to lawmakers that reveals the woman walking in a private medical facility near Boston in which she currently lives, according to The Hartford Courant. “It’s a different world to not be able to see again or to use your hands and just do things for yourself,” Nash told the newspaper. “That you have to depend on other people for help now, it’s very hard.”
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The Raw Story pointed out that Connecticut law mandates that lawsuits against the state have to be approved by lawmakers. In June 2013, the Office of the Claims Commissioner denied Nash’s petition for her suit.
On Friday, her representatives will bring her case to Connecticut's Judiciary Committee. If it grants her request, the suit must still be approved by both the state House and Senate before proceeding forward.
According to Sindland, state environmental officials ignored an October 2008 memo from a state biologist, Elaine Hinsch, that described the chimpanzee as “an accident waiting to happen.” And lawmakers were given a briefing book that said officials knew of the chipanzee’s dodgy behavior as early as October 2003, the Raw Story reported.
In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson for state Attorney General George Jepsen’s (D) office said that “well-settled law” had established that the state of Connecticut wasn't responsible for protecting Nash from a chimp attack on private property owned by a private owner.
“While we have the utmost sympathy for Charla Nash, we do not believe that the state is liable for Ms. Nash’s injuries,” the statement noted. “To decide otherwise would set a very dangerous precedent, exposing the state and its taxpayers to unlimited liability and costly litigation.”