The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Friday, April 17, 2009

CT Chimpanzee Attack, Woman Wants Photographs Revealed

Conflict over public's right to know
and privacy

Updated: Monday, 13 Apr 2009, 6:41 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 13 Apr 2009, 5:38 PM EDT

New Haven (WTNH) - Will the photos of a victim after a brutal attack be revealed? That is the question surrounding the mauling on a woman by her friend's pet chimpanzee.

The photos were taken at the hospital just hours after the attack; they're under seal and not shown in court today. But in court today was a woman with no previous connection to this case, asking the court to grant public access to any photos that end up as evidence.

Linda Palmer doesn't know the woman mauled by Travis the chimp but came to court claiming the public has a right to see photos of Charla Nash taken hours after the attack.

"Anything that is submitted into a civil action is a matter of record and when you close the record you are infringing on the rights of the citizens," Palmer, of Trumbull, said.

Lawyers for Nash are asking a judge to seal the photos and medical records which are expected to be evidence in their client's $50-million lawsuit against the chimp's owner Sandra Herold.

The 200 pound chimp attacked Nash in February before police shot and killed the animal. The 55-year-old lost her hands, nose, lips and eyelids; she will be blind for life.

The photos of her injuries are described as extremely graphic and should be kept sealed for the sake of her 17-year-old daughter.

"This is really just the start of a really hard journey on the family so we don't want to have the overriding pressures of the photographs released which inevitably be released worldwide because of the notoriety of the case," said family attorney Charles Willinger.

Lawyers for the chimp's owner had no position, basically not opposing the sealing of the photos and medical records.

It's possible the city of Stamford and the state of Connecticut could also be sued, so Palmer reasons all evidence should be out in the open.

"Which means taxpayers are on the hook which is more reason taxpayers should have free access," Palmer said.

The judge told the courtroom today he hasn't even looked at them and gave no hint how he feels. He said he must balance the need of the public to know against privacy issues but also talked about alternative remedies. A hearing is set for April 27th. "


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