Violent Chimp's Owner Claims Attack Was Work Related

Legal ploy would limit liability

|  Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009  |  Updated 2:44 PM EDT
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Pet Chimp Killed After Attacking Woman

Charla Nash was the victim of a vicious chimp attack in Stamford in February that left her disfigured, blind and near death.

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A lawyer for the owner of Travis, a 200-pound chimp that went berserk and mauled Charla Nash in February, is arguing that the attack was a work-related incident.

By claiming that, Sandra Herold’s attorneys are saying the violent incident should be treated like a worker's compensation claim.

If Herold’s defense team is successful, Herold could be protected from personal liability and the potential damages in the case could be limited.

The Nash family has filed a $50 million lawsuit against Herold.

On Feb. 16, Travis attacked Nash and left her disfigured and blind.

According to news reports at the time of the attack, Herold had asked Nash to help lure the large chimp back into her house in Stamford where he lived.

She was rushed to a local hospital and then moved to the prestigious Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, the medical facility to perform the first face transplant in the country.

There, Nash remains in stable condition.

Matt Newman, attorney for Nash's family, said he disagrees with Herold's argument. 

Nash’s family says Charla has walked on hospital grounds and has kept her sense on humor.

“People have asked about Charla and what she is really feeling. Charla has accepted her losses. She accepts that she can not change this,” the family posted on Nash’s Web site. “ She also understands how someone in her situation can be a source of hope for others but finds it difficult to understand that that person is her. She is not use to being the center of attention.”

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