NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Blocked in her bid to sue the state for $150 million, the woman mauled and disfigured by a chimpanzee in 2009 faces an uphill battle as she appeals to the state Legislature.

Charla Nash, who was blinded, lost both hands and underwent a face transplant, argues that officials knew the chimp was dangerous but didn’t do anything about it.

While Nash has lawmakers’ sympathies, they deny most appeals of decisions by the state’s claims commissioner. Nash would also have to overcome a ban on laws that benefit one person and, experts say, a reluctance to authorize a potentially costly lawsuit in a state with financial problems.

“I would say there’s a pretty strong burden of proof on a party that’s seeking to challenge the claims commissioner’s determination,” said Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, D-New Haven.

The commissioner on June 14 approved the state’s motion to dismiss Nash’s claim, saying the law at the time allowed private ownership of chimpanzees and didn’t require officials to seize legal animals. The state generally is immune to lawsuits, unless allowed by the claims commissioner.

Nash’s attorney, Charles Willinger Jr., said the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection should be held responsible for not seizing the chimpanzee before the attack. Several months before the attack, a biologist warned state officials in a memo that the chimpanzee could seriously hurt someone if it felt threatened, saying “it is an accident waiting to happen.”

That letter helps Nash’s case, said state Rep. Arthur O’Neill, a Southbury Republican and member of the Judiciary Committee that will hear her appeal.

Nash reached a $4 million settlement last year with the estate of the chimp’s owner, Sandra Herold, who died in 2010.

Nash had gone to Herold’s home on Feb. 16, 2009, to help lure her friend’s 200-pound chimpanzee, named Travis, back inside. But the chimp went berserk and ripped off Nash’s nose, lips, eyelids and hands before being shot to death by a police officer.