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State dismisses chimp attack lawsuit; appeal planned

When it comes to court decisions in Las Vegas, rarely is anything ever final. Lawyers can argue that civil appeals are necessary if the court’s decision was based on a bias or incorrect information or that they did not hear evidence that may have affected the outcome of the case.

One woman plans to appeal a decision to dismiss her lawsuit against a state on the east coast. The 59-year-old woman was brutally attacked in 2009 by her friend’s chimpanzee when she went to her home to try to help her get the animal back inside the house. She was permanently disfigured and left blind when the chimp tore off several of her body parts including both hands, eyelids, lips and nose. She required a face transplant and now lives in a nursing home. 

Her lawsuit against the state contends that the state knew about the danger the chimp posed to society, but did nothing about it. The chimp had a history of biting people and even tried to drag a woman into a car. He had also gotten away from his owner and was loose on the streets for hours. In addition, a state biologist had warned the state that the chimp was dangerous and that he could seriously injure someone.

The woman planned to sue the state for $150 million, but the state claims commissioner decided to throw out the claim. He pointed to the fact that at the time of the attack, the state allowed citizens to privately own chimps. The woman’s lawyer is planning on appealing to the state legislature.

Source: KTVB, “APNewsBreak: Conn. chimp attack victim to appeal,” June 18, 2013

John P. Aldrich
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