The Stamford woman mauled and disfigured by a chimpanzee five years ago cannot sue the state of Connecticut, a panel of lawmakers decided Wednesday, siding with a state official.
A judiciary committee voted 35-3 on Wednesday afternoon to uphold the state claims commissioner's decision last year and prevent Charla Nash from suing, after the 2009 chimp attack in Stamford left her disfigured.
Last year, State Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr. had refused Nash's request to sue, arguing state officials were not required by Connecticut law to seize the chimpanzee.
Nash released the following statement in response to the decision:
“I am heartbroken. The fact that I will not be able to tell my side of the story to a court of law is devastating. This process isn’t fair. Right now, I need some time to think things through and talk with my family. I wanted a chance to be able to pay my medical bills and get the assistance I need to live as normal of a life as possible. I can’t give up hope now. This means too much to my daughter Briana and me.”
Nash initially sought $150 million in financial damages following the attack and appealed to lawmakers at a Judiciary Committee hearing March 21.
Today is the committee's deadline for voting bills to the floor of the House of Representatives or Senate.