Aug. 10 hearing on chimp attack victim’s suit against state

Some significant developments this week in Charla Nash’s efforts to sue the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection for $150 million.

Nash is the ex-Stamford resident who in 2009 was mauled by late friend Sandra Herold’s pet chimpanzee, Travis, after responding to Herold’s request to help capture the loose animal.

The tragedy made national and international headlines. Nash lost her face and has had a transplant. Travis was shot and killed by police. Herold passed away in May, 2010 from a ruptured aortic anuerysm.

Nash blames the DEEP – then the state Department of Environmental Protection – for not acting to seize Travis before the attack.

In order to sue the state, she needs permission from Connecticut Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance, Jr. It’s a unique process, as we detailed earlier this year.

In April Attorney General George Jepsen submitted a motion to dismiss Nash’s case to Vance.

Today Nash’s attorneys, Bridgeport-based Willinger, Willinger and Bucci, filed their counter-argument with Vance that he should allow Nash her day in court.

Vance this week scheduled “an informal” hearing for 10 a.m. August 10 on Jepsen’s motion to dismiss. The announcement is tucked away on the Claims Commissioner’s website under OTHER NOTICES.

(Vance, hired last summer, has admitted the site needs an upgrade to be more public-friendly.)

I asked Willinger if Nash might be present August 10.

“We don’t know yet,” Willinger said. She continues to recuperate from her injuries at a nursing facility outside of Boston.

Nash has appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s former talk show and on NBC’s Today.

Video/press pool feeds of Vance’s hearing will be available for the media.

Brian Lockhart