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Michael J. Duber and Brandon T. Duber

Victim Who Lost Face in Chimp Attack Sought $50 Million

Dec 10, 2012 |

Charla Nash, the woman who lost her face and hands when a friend’s chimpanzee attacked her, will receive a $4 million settlement in the lawsuit filed after the attack.

Her attorney stated that the amount is far less than needed to cover a lifetime of medical care. Nash had originally sought $50 million from Sandra Herold, whose chimp attacked Nash in 2009. Herold, who died in 2010, had asked Nash to come over to her house that day to help lure Herold’s 200-lb. chimpanzee, Travis, back into the house after trying to escape.

The chimpanzee got wildly aggressive and ripped off Nash’s nose, hands, lips, and eyelids before being shot dead by a police officer. Nash, 57, underwent a face transplant in 2011, but is still blind, has no hands, and now lives in a nursing home outside of Boston. Nash is also suing the state of Connecticut for $150 million, alleging that it knew Herold’s chimpanzee was a threat to humans based on his previous escapes and encounters with other human beings.

Court papers had also alleged that Travis had over the years tried dragging a woman into a car, bitten a man, and escaped Herold’s home at least one other time.

The state’s attorney general has looked to block the $150 million lawsuit but in order for it to go ahead, the Connecticut claims commissioner has to make a ruling on the case. The state cannot be sued without the claims commissioner’s approval.