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, October 16, 2009

If Judge Agrees, Charla Nash, Victim of Travis The Chimpanzee Attack Would Not Be Entitled To Money For Loss Of Enjoyment in Life

The owner of a 200-pound chimp named Travis who went berserk and ripped the face off of the owner's friend has enraged some by trying to avoid a $50 million lawsuit, claiming the crippling attack should be treated instead as a workman's compensation claim.

Pet 200-pound chimp killed by officers after it attacks woman in Connecticut home
The owner of Travis, a 10-year-old chimpanzee, is at the center of a $50 million lawsuit by a woman... Expand
(The Stamford Advocate, via AP)

If a judge agrees, it would mean Charla Nash – who was blinded in the attack, has difficulty walking and can only eat through a straw – would not be entitled to receive any money for pain, suffering, humiliation or loss of enjoyment of life, which usually makes up the largest part of any civil award.

Trial lawyers are buzzing about the case. On industry Web sites, like, some are expressing outrage that Nash might not get to sue for a large civil claim. Michael Phelan, a Virginia-based attorney, writes, "This frivolous legal maneuver benefits the defendant chimpanzee owner's insurance company."

The legal strategy may have some merit, said Joseph Little, a professor emeritus at the University of Florida Levin School of Law and a specialist in workers' compensation issues. He said the argument might prevail if lawyers can prove that there was a regular employment relationship between Nash and Travis' owner Sandra Herold, and taking care of the chimp was part of those duties.


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