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Mr_M's avatar

The family of the woman who was recently mauled by a chimp is suing the owner of the chimp for 50 million dollars. Will she get it?

Asked by Mr_M (7563 points ) March 18th, 2009

Personally, I feel she should get ten times the amount, however, WILL she? She voluntarily went to the home, knew the chimp was agitated, was familiar with the chimp, knew the chimp was not caged, knew the chimp’s history. Emotions aside, did she knowingly put HERSELF in danger?

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15 Answers

imhellokitty's avatar

I have no doubt she will be awarded the money, but I doubt she will actually get the moeny. I don’t think the chimps owner has 50 million dollars, even with homeowners or whatever else insurance she may have.

dynamicduo's avatar

You honestly think someone should get half a billion dollars for willfully going into a place (it’s good to note it happened outdoors) where there was a chimpanzee she knew was agitated, and sure enough the monkey attacks her? Who exactly would pay this money? I highly doubt the 70 year old woman owner has half a billion dollars lying around.

That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard today, of course I’ve only been up for a few hours so I’m sure it’ll be topped. Wow. That’s rewarding her stupidity. How can that ever be good? What legal precedence will come out of this?

I’ve gone and read one of the actual articles (please link it next time if you want to discuss it, we all don’t read the same things you do every day you know). It seems that Travis, the chimpanzee who inflicted the damage, was a person-reared animal who had never had a violent streak in the past, had been a celebrity in commercials etc, so this attack was in my mind a freak accident.

One of the bottom lines here is no one should ever have a chimp as a pet unless they are fully trained and ready to kill the animal with a heavy tranquilizer GUN (nice try in stabbing him) if such situations happen! They are ferocious beasts. A 70 year old woman simply cannot exert physical control over a 200lb chimpanzee.

Based on what I’ve read in that article, the woman should not be entitled to ANY compensation. She willingly went over to a place where she knew an agitated chimpanzee was. Anyone with half a brain in their head would know that’s a dangerous situation. She willingly put herself in that dangerous situation, as a result she should not be entitled to any compensation towards what happened to her. What did she, a 55 year old woman, think she could do in the situation? Was she a trained chimpanzee expert? Did she have a tranq gun? Likely the answers are no, she was just a person who the friend called, and the person foolishly thought she could help corral in a 200lb crazed chimpanzee. This is natural selection at it’s best, folks.

But lawsuits are not logical at all. Here’s the lawsuit. According to it, the chimp owner was in the right to own the chimp (the lawyers are whining about having a permit, as if THAT would have somehow helped here). The lawyers are claiming it is the owner’s fault that the money went crazy, which is laughably false. While I agree with their claims that she should not have owned one, the legal fact is that she was permitted to have one and thus their opinion doesn’t mean shit here. But lawyers will always give you their opinion.

Of course, the shame in this is that the victim has no health insurance, and will require a fuckton of operations to even become stable let alone regain all her abilities, so the jury would likely sympathize and rule in her favour, thus setting a legal precedence that people are not responsible for their own stupid decisions.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@dynamicduo: Pssst… 500 million is half a billion. Fix it now! Hurry! Before time is up!

Mr_M's avatar

@dynamicduo ,

”(please link it next time if you want to discuss it, we all don’t read the same things you do every day you know).”

I’ll remember that when I ask about something I read. Unfortunately I saw it on a few television news programs. I was expecting people who were already familiar with the situation would respond.

dynamicduo's avatar

I had never heard of it either, but I was able to find some supporting links to help with the discussion. Again, it’s just a consideration, a wise and polite one in my mind as it seems people who are not versed in the asked issue often like learning and discussing it when they become aware of it here on Fluther, such as in my case.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Ignore my previous comment. I have a reading problem apparently. Sigh.

autumn43's avatar

I think what happened to her is horrible – as it would be for anyone. However, she wasn’t a stranger to the house who got attacked out of nowhere. She should get money for her medical bills, which are going to be substantial. However, 50 million? Good luck with that.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Wow. What they’re actually suing for is coverage of her medical costs, plus pain and suffering. She’s still in the hospital from the attack, and has no health care coverage. The owner appears to have had other control issues with the chimp in the past.

She won’t get $50 million, but you have to start somewhere.

allen_o's avatar

It’s america, you guys can sue each other for everything, the chimp should probably sue it’s owner for putting someone in front of him for him to attack.
And no. I don’t think that the owner should of been sued

Mr_M's avatar

@allen_o , it’s even worse then you think. Someone can go to their lawyer and stretch the truth about something, such that the lawyer takes the case and sues. Meanwhile, the defendant may be totally innocent. Because it will cost the defendant so much money in legal fees, the innocent defendant winds up paying the lying plaintiff GOOD MONEY because it’s cheaper then the legal fees. This blows me away.

robmandu's avatar

No… not $50M.

Settle out of court for an undisclosed amount? Yes.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Chimp change. They should go for the whole banana.

casheroo's avatar

I was very disturbed at the damage the chimp did to her face and hands. I cannot imagine what that lady is going through. Of course her medical bills should be paid for. Who knows how much that will equal…she’s going to need prosthetic hands, a face transplant (if they can even do one on her), round the clock medical care until she is well. I just cannot imagine.
I doubt the owner has that much money, but I know they said she owns six properties and they’re going to try to get money from that.

Zaku's avatar

No, not $50 million.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

America, great country that it is, is full of a sue-happy folks with no sense of personal responsibility and an overblown sense of entitlement. These lawyer-loving court junkies are ruining my country. Feh.

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