Tort Law

Lawyers for Woman Injured in Chimp Attack Claim Owner Is Strictly Liable

A Connecticut law firm representing a woman injured in an attack by a pet chimpanzee claims the animal’s owner should be strictly liable for owning a wild animal.

Lawyers for the injured woman, Charla Nash, are asking a judge to freeze the assets of the chimp’s owner, Sandra Herold, the Connecticut Law Tribune reports. The Bridgeport firm representing Nash—Willinger, Willinger & Bucci—submitted a copy of the complaint it intends to file against Herold along with its request for liens and a temporary restraining order.

Willinger partner Matthew Newman is lead counsel for Nash “There’s no amount of care that is adequate for this kind of ultra-hazardous activity,” he told the Law Tribune.

There are no Connecticut cases addressing strict liability for injuries caused by wild animals. But Stamford lawyer Joseph Girardi, who represents Herold, believes strict liability doesn’t apply, according to the article. He told the publication that Nash will have to base her suit on negligence principles, and she won’t be able to prove the chimp showed warning signs of dangerousness.

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