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!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Charla Nash, Says The Incident Should Be Treated as a Worker’s Compensation Claim

The $50 million lawsuit against the owner of Travis the chimp has taken a new turn. An attorney for Sandra Herold, owner of the 200-pound chimp that severely mauled her friend and employee, Charla Nash, says the incident should be treated as a worker’s compensation claim. If the attorney’s argument holds up, it would impact the damages Nash’s family hope to collect in the case and protect Herold from personal liability.

The incident occurred Feb. 16 in Stamford, Conn, when Herold, the widowed owner of a tow truck operation, asked Nash, an employee and friend, to help her get Travis back into his cage. The 14-year-old chimpanzee lived in Herold’s house and was treated like a child, eating meals with the family, watching TV and brushing his teeth with a Water Pik. On this day, however, the agitated chimp attacked Nash, Her hands, nose, lips and eyelids were ripped off in the assault before police arrived at the scene and fatally shot Travis. Now blind, Nash remains hospitalized in stable condition at the Cleveland Clinic.

Nash's family filed the $50 million lawsuit against Herold, but her attorney, Robert Golger, said in recent court papers that Nash was an employee of Herold's tow truck company, and the case should be treated as any other Worker’s Compensation claim. If the court were to go with that argument, Nash would have her medical bills paid for by the employer's insurance company and would receive partial wage replacement, usually 65 to 75 percent of her wage. She would not receive money for pain and suffering that makes up a large part of jury awards in civil cases.

To back his argument, Golger notes that Travis was an important part of the tow truck business, since his picture was on the wrecker, he often went out on calls, he appeared in the workplace every day and he attended company promotional events. The house where the attack occurred also serves as the company’s business office, Golger added that as an employee, Nash fed Travis, cleaned his play area and purchased supplies he needed.

The Nash family attorney, Matt Newman, has said he disagrees but has not responded in detail.

Herold had owned and carried for Travis since he was three days old, and he had starred in television commercials. But also had a history of misbehavior. He had reportedly bitten two people and once escaped from his owner’s car, a situation that resulted in a police chase through downtown Stamford. Before the attack on Nash, a state biologist had notified authorities that Travis could be a potential danger if the chimp felt threatened.


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