APNewsBreak: $4M settlement in Conn. chimp attack
STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — A settlement agreement calls for a woman disfigured in a chimpanzee attack to receive about $4 million from the estate of the animal's now-dead owner, according to documents obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.
Attack victim Charla Nash's brother filed the lawsuit on her behalf in 2009 in state Superior Court seeking $50 million in damages from chimp owner Sandra Herold, who died in 2010. Nash was blinded, lost both hands and underwent a face transplant after being mauled outside Herold's home in Stamford in February 2009.
Attorney Brenden Leydon, representing Herold's estate, said the case is "resolved."
"I think it was a fair compromise on all sides," Leydon said.
A lawyer for the Nash family, though, said the money obtained is "an insignificant amount" considering what Nash went through.
Nash had gone to Herold's home on the day of the attack to help lure Herold's 200-pound chimpanzee, Travis, back inside. But the chimp went berserk and ripped off Nash's nose, lips, eyelids and hands before being shot to death by a police officer. Nash, 57, now lives in a nursing home outside Boston.
Travis had starred in TV commercials for Old Navy and Coca-Cola when he was younger and made an appearance on "The Maury Povich Show." The chimpanzee was the constant companion of the widowed Herold and was fed steak, lobster and ice cream. The chimp could eat at the table, drink wine from a stemmed glass, use the toilet and bathe and dress itself.
The settlement agreement filed in Stamford Probate Court calls for Herold's estate to provide Nash with $3.4 million in real estate, $331,000 in cash, $140,000 in machinery and equipment and $44,000 in vehicles.
Lawyers for Nash's twin brother, Michael Nash, accused executors of Herold's estate earlier this week of withholding information needed to complete the settlement, according to a court document obtained by the AP.
Leydon said Thursday that his office has since provided the information and the settlement is nearly finalized. He had argued previously that Herold's estate couldn't be sued because Charla Nash was an employee of Herold and any claims were a worker's compensation matter.
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