Charla Nash Update
On February 16, 2009, in Stamford, Connecticut, Charla Nash was viciously attacked by a 14 year old chimpanzee owned by Sandra Herold and kept by Ms. Herold in her home as a pet. Charla had been called by Ms. Herold to her home to try to assist in controlling the chimp, who was running loose outside the Herold residence. When Charla arrived and exited her vehicle, the chimpanzee immediately attacked her, and inflicted horrific injuries on Charla. Emergency personnel responded to Ms. Herold's 911 call and the police were ultimately forced to shoot and kill the animal. Charla was brought to Stamford Hospital, where she endured seven hours of lifesaving surgery. She was then transferred to the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. While at the Cleveland Clinic, Charla underwent numerous surgical procedures to address the facial injuries, injuries to her eyes and injuries to her hands. She also received physical, respiratory and occupational therapy, as well as counseling and other medical and nursing care.
In May, 2011, Charla was admitted to Brigham & Woman's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, to be evaluated as a candidate for a face transplant and bi-lateral hand transplants. On May 28, 2011, a donor was identified and Charla underwent both the face transplant and bi-lateral hand transplants. On June 2, 2011, however, Charla underwent surgery for removal of the bi-lateral hand transplants as a result of infections and other medical complications.
The face transplant has improved Charla's ability to eat, taste and smell. Since the face transplant, Charla has also received prosthetic eyes. Charla currently resides at a nursing and rehabilitation facility. She continues to progress in her recovery, and her strength is improving, in hopes of receiving another bi-lateral hand and forearm transplant.
On May 5, 2009, an action was commenced on behalf of Charla Nash in the Superior Court for the District of Stamford against Sandra Herold, owner of the chimpanzee Travis, for injuries sustained by Charla during the chimpanzee attack. Although Sandra Herold passed away in May of 2010, Charla Nash's litigation continues against Ms. Herold's estate. Click HERE to see a copy of the lawsuit.
On November 4, 2009, Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C. filed a claim against the State of Connecticut on behalf of Charla Nash. The claim, filed with the Connecticut Claims Commissioner in accordance with state statutes, requests permission to sue the State of Connecticut and alleges the State's actions and failures to act resulted in grievous injuries to Ms. Nash. The claim seeks $150,000,000.00 in compensation for Ms. Nash. Click HERE to see a copy of the claim against the State.
"We believe the evidence will show that the State, acting through the Department of Environmental Protection, failed to adequately address a serious public safety issue that resulted in tragic consequences for our client," said Matt Newman, a partner at Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C. Charla's attorneys point out, in particular, in a memorandum dated October 28, 2008, with an importance rating of "high", Elaine Hinsch, a biologist and decades-long employee of the DEEP, alerted DEEP agency employees Dale May, Director of the Wildlife Division and Edward Parker, Chief, Bureau of Natural Resources, of the Travis situation. The memorandum states the following: "..The animal has reached adult maturity, is very large and tremendously strong. I am concerned that if he feels threatened or if someone enters his territory, he could seriously hurt someone..CGS 26-55 prohibits the possession of a primate weighing more than fifty pounds...This exemption was supported by those persons who own primates but recognized that a primate over 50 lbs. has the size and strength to potentially inflect (sic.) harm and damage...Every day the animal stays on site, [there is] (sic.) the likelihood of a problem occurring..I would like to address the urgency of this issue. It is an accident waiting to happen." For a copy of the memo, Click HERE. Mr. Parker received the memo, but as he was retiring, advised Ms. Hinsch to work with Mr. May, not knowing that Mr. May, too, was retiring from the department. Mr. May has since testified at his deposition that he never read the memo.
Memorandum of Law in Opposition to State of Connecticut's Motion to Dismiss 6/27/12
Claims Commissioner Decisions
INTERVIEWS WITH CHARLA
February 28, 2012 - ABC News Interview with Charla Nash:
November 21, 2011 - Charla Nash reveals her new face on the Today Show:
CHARLA NASH TRUST
Charla's family has established a website to keep the public informed about Charla's condition and to accept donations, as Charla did not have health insurance. For more information or to make a donation, please go to nashtrust.org
For a timeline of facts, additional news articles, further information and archival video, please visit charlanashinfo.com