Woman Disfigured in Chimp Attack Gets $4M (€3M) Settlement

Charla Nash lost her eyesight and both hands, and was forced to undergo a face transplant

By Raluca Anghel on November 30th, 2012 09:35 GMT

Charla Nash is to be awarded a compensation after being mauled by a chimp, an attack in which she lost her eyesight and both hands, and was forced to undergo a face transplant.

The claim was filed by Michael Nash, Charla's twin brother. Nash won the suit against Sandra Herold, the owner of the chimp. Since Herold is now deceased, damages are to be paid out by the administrators of the millionaire's estate.

She is to be awarded $4 million (€3 million), according to a ruling by the Stamford Probate Court in Connecticut, CBS News writes. Nash is to receive real estate worth $3.4 million (€2.6 million), $140,000 (€107,000) in equipment and another $44,000 (€34,000) in vehicles. $331,000 (€254,000) in cash are added to the settlement.

She had to undergo severe facial reconstructive surgery following the attack. She had lost her eyelids, lips and nose when her friend's 200-pound (90 kg) pet chimpanzee launched itself on her. He had to be put down by a police officer, who shot the animal. The 57-year-old is now forced to live in a nursing home near Boston.

“I will be able to smell. [...] I will be able to eat normally. I will no longer be disfigured. I will have lips and will speak clearly once again. I will be able to kiss and hug loved ones,” she said following her surgery.

Brenden Leydon, representing Herold's estate, states that “the case is resolved.” “I think it was a fair compromise on all sides,” he adds.

However, Nash now plans to sue the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for $150 million (€115 million). State officials were warned about the chimp being dangerous, in a letter from a biologist dated months before the attack.

“It is an accident waiting to happen,” it read, the publication reported in August.

The animal had bitten at least two people before the incident, but the claim will only go to court if it is approved by the state claims commissioner.

“I hope and pray that the commissioner will give me my day in court. [...] And I also pray that I hope this never happens to anyone else again. It is not nice,” the victim says.
Charla Nash was mauled by a 200-pound (90 kg) pet chimpanzee
   Charla Nash was mauled by a 200-pound (90 kg) pet chimpanzee
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