National News

Mar 21, 2014 5:41 PM

Victim Wants State's Help in Covering Medical Bills from Chimp Attack

CONNECTICUT (NBC News) - Charla Nash has spent the last five years fighting for her life following a vicious chimpanzee attack.

On Friday she told Connecticut lawmakers she needs their help in that battle, and that she wants to make sure no one else has to suffer through a similar tragedy.

Nash lost her sight, hands and most of her face when her friend's pet chimpanzee attacked.

"I want to make sure what happened to myself never happens to anyone ever again," she told Connecticut legislators.

She made the personal plea asking lawmakers to pass legislation that would reverse a decision by a state commissioner that prevents her from suing the state.

"I'm hoping that you can make a decision based on the information. I feel that that the state knew,what was happening and failed to protect me," Nash said.

Her attorneys are seeking $150-million to help pay for medical costs, saying the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection had been warned by a state biologist, and others, about how dangerous the chimp could be months before the attack and should have seized the animal because it was a "threat to public health and safety."

Connecticut's attorney general argued the attack was in no way the fault of the state.

"The law does not support this claim. Nor is it in the public interest to grant it," Attorney General George Jepsen said.

To this point there's been no indication of when or even if lawmakers might vote on the issue.

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