In Arizona, the extent to which Ms. Nash or her family could state a claim would depend upon several factors, including known behaviors or propensities of Travis prior to the incident and known propensities of these types of animals in general. Knowing the propensities, should the previous owner (private, a pet store, etc…) have sold the chimp? Knowing past behaviors, should the owners have allowed the chimp to roam free? Should the owner have warned others, including Ms. Nash, of the danger associated with the chimp? These are all important questions in determining legal liability.
If the family for Ms. Nash is able to prove legal liability, often a person’s homeowners insurance will cover for damages in a circumstance like this. Be careful to read your policy to see if you would be protected for a circumstance where an animal you own attacks and harms another. Some policies exclude this type of coverage. If you have an animal, you should know what protections you have, and make every effort to obtain insurance, prior to the worst happening.
How awful for Ms. Nash and her family. Regardless as to whether there is coverage (I doubt $50 million anyway), her life has now been permanently changed. Reason and care is the standard by which we should govern our decisions and actions, in all decisions in life. We keep Ms. Nash in our prayers.