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Woman disfigured in chimp attack settles with owner's estate for $4M

Posted On: Nov. 30, 2012 12:00 AM CST

Woman disfigured in chimp attack settles with owner's estate for $4M

A Connecticut woman disfigured by a chimpanzee named Travis will receive $4 million in cash and property from the estate of the animal's owner, who had argued it was a workers compensation case.

The 200-pound chimpanzee made national headlines in 2009 when he attacked Charla Nash, who eventually underwent a face transplant after the chimp ripped off her hands and facial parts and left her blind.

The attack occurred outside the home of the chimp's owner in Stamford, Conn., where a police officer shot Travis to death. News organization reported at the time of the attack that Ms. Nash, now 57, was a friend of the chimp's owner, Sandra Herold, who has since died. Ms. Nash now lives in a nursing home, according to reports.

In 2009, Ms. Nash's twin brother filed a lawsuit in state Superior Court on her behalf against the Ms. Herold's estate for alleged negligence and recklessness.

An attorney representing the case argued that the injured woman worked for a tow truck company operated by Ms. Herold. He also argued that Travis, who previously worked on television commercials, was part of the tow truck operation since he attended promotional events.

A work-related attack would limit the owner's liability to workers comp benefits.

But on Friday, news reports said Ms. Herold's estate settled the lawsuit seeking $50 million. According to the reports, a settlement agreement calls for Ms. Nash to receive cash, real estate, machinery and vehicles worth nearly $4 million.

The reports say Ms. Nash's family is still trying to obtain $150 million from the state of Connecticut, alleging that, because of previous attacks and escapes, the state knew the chimp was dangerous but failed to act.