HARTFORD — The state Judiciary Committee voted 35-3 Wednesday to uphold the claims commissioner’s decision to prevent the victim of a brutal 2009 chimpanzee attack from suing the state.
Charla Nash, who was blinded and whose face and hands were ripped off by the raging animal, recently told the committee that state regulators knew that Travis the chimp was dangerous but failed to protect her from him.
“I’m hoping I can have a lawsuit that will allow me the means to pay my medical bills and allow me the chance to live a comfortable life,” Nash told the committee. “Just as importantly, I want to make sure that what happens to myself never happens to anyone else again.”
Her lawyer, Charles Willinger, expanded on that argument for another 2½ hours, saying that the agency now called the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was guilty of “systemic and institutional negligence.”