HARTFORD — Charla Nash, blind since a 2009 mauling by a chimpanzee that ripped off her face and hands, says in a video plea to legislators that her disabilities make her feel “locked up … like I’m in a cage.”
Nash’s legal and public-relations team released the video in advance of a General Assembly hearing Friday on her request that legislators let her sue the state for $150 million.
In the nearly seven-minute video, Nash says she hopes lawmakers “will allow me to have my day in court — that I will be able to have a judge listen to the evidence that is brought before him about the vicious attack on me, and that it shall not happen to any other person again.”
Nash, who needed a face transplant, is expected to appear but not testify at the public hearing before the judiciary committee, said Kevin Reynolds, a lobbyist for Nash’s legal team.
The committee hearing — at noon in hearing room 2C of the Legislative Office Building — is the first step in the legislature’s deliberations on Nash’s effort to overturn a decision last June by state Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr.
Vance denied Nash’s request that he waive the state’s sovereign immunity against lawsuits seeking financial damages and allow her to file a $150 million lawsuit in Superior Court against the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The General Assembly has the power to pass legislation overruling the claims commissioner’s decision.