Chimp Victim's Twin Preps for Lawsuit

The brother of a woman mauled by a 200-pound chimpanzee in Connecticut last week is preparing to sue.

Michael Nash, the twin brother of Charla Nash, 55, filed an affidavit in Stamford Probate Court that says immediate action is required to secure the assets of any potential defendants.

He is also asking the court to take swift action to preserve evidence to protect his sister's ability to recover damages in future litigation.

Nash also wants the court to appoint him as a temporary conservator over his sister and her teenage daughter.

Charla Nash was attacked on Feb. 16 in Stamford by Travis, a 200-pound, 14-year-old chimpanzee owned by her friend, 70-year-old Sandra Herold. Herold is not named in the affidavit.

Charla Nash is being treated at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio for severe injures to her face and hands.

Meanwhile, legal experts have said Herold could face a civil lawsuit and the state of Connecticut could face legal trouble for not taking action.

"I think there's one helluva lawsuit against the owner," attorney William Palmieri, who handled an animal neglect case in Connecticut, told the Associated Press. "The reasonableness of having a 200-pound wild animal is just nonexistent. It's not unforeseeable that such an animal could do what this animal has done."

Authorities have not said whether Herold will face criminal charges. Connecticut State law allowed her to own the chimp as a pet.
Stamford police have known about Travis since 2003, when the chimpanzee escaped from a vehicle and led police on a two-house downtown chase before he was caught.
After last week’s incident, Travis was shot and killed by Stamford police.
The whole issue of whether a primate is an appropriate pet is up for the debate on the national stage. The House of Representatives is expected Tuesday to vote on legislation that would effectively ban monkeys, great apes and other primates as pets.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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