Local News

Vortex ride victims planning $150M lawsuit

Posted April 9

— Four people injured when they were thrown from a fair ride at the North Carolina State Fair last fall plan to file a lawsuit Thursday, the attorney representing them said Wednesday.

Attorney Willie E. Gary said the victims – Anthony Gorham, Kisha Gorham, Justen Hunter and Shykema Dempsey – are seeking $150 million in damages from Powers Great American Midways, which brought the ride to the fair, and Family Attractions Amusement LLC, which owned it.

Anthony Gorham suffered brain, skull, neck and spinal cord injuries when The Vortex – a ride known for its wild twirls and flips – started moving Oct. 24 while people were getting off.

He spent nearly four months in a local hospital. His wife, Alisha Gorham, and her son, Hunter, were also seriously injured.

Authorities later arrested the ride's operator, Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow, and owner, Joshua Gene Macaroni, both of Quitman, Ga., on three counts each of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury.

A criminal investigation found that a safety mechanism designed to keep The Vortex from moving had been disabled.

Macaroni's attorney has said the evidence in the case will show that his client was out of state at the time of the accident. Tutterrow's lawyer has said his client would never have intentionally harmed anyone.

33 Comments

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  • carolinarox Apr 10, 3:47 p.m.

    This amount of money is ridiculous. I am sorry that they were victims of this situation, but... View More

    — Posted by jscott13

    The family had no obligation to update anyone on their health conditions. Yeah, the medical bills started rolling in and they asked for donations, big whup. It was purely voluntary. What price would you put on their injuries? What if it were you, would you give Family Attractions Amusement LLC a pass?

  • vanthomas321 Apr 10, 3:12 p.m.

    This family has been altered for life. They deserve to be compensated for the criminal negligence. I doubt that there is anywhere near that amount of money available from the owners and insurance carriers. As others have said, they'll shut the LLC down, turn it over to their insurance company and be done with it. I wonder what the underlying limits are on the policies?

  • LuvLivingInCary Apr 10, 1:33 p.m.

    Check out the wikipedia on the attorney…Two private jets all on the backs of the insurance companies and yes this one will be the future customers at the NC State Fair.

  • jscott13 Apr 10, 1:11 p.m.

    This amount of money is ridiculous. I am sorry that they were victims of this situation, but their actions have been odd all along. They wouldn't give anyone updates on their conditions for a long time, then suddenly asked for contributions to pay medical bills. Their lawyer must be calling the shots, but he might want to think about how all of this will appear to the people who hear the civil suit. You can lose because you are unreasonable.

  • dmaaaaax Apr 10, 12:52 p.m.

    Why such a small amount when the authorities have proof the ride operator and owner tampered... View More

    — Posted by Well I. D'Clare

    Small amount...150M?! You can make up any amount you want, it doesn't mean that the defendants have that amount to pay you, especially an LLC company. I'm sure the laywer/s figured how much they could actaully get from these guys when they came up with that figure and doubled it just to be sure.

    Some of you all are so sue-happy that you think the money comes from thin air. Keep in mind that if they sue the state (that is already in debt) we the tax payers end up paying for it in the long run, either by some new taxes or some new law. Future Fair prices will probably go up.

  • Obamacare returns again Apr 10, 12:50 p.m.

    Give them all lifetime NC State Fair tickets and let's wrap this thing up.

  • C6-YA Apr 10, 12:48 p.m.

    Sadly, I suspect they'll never see that kind of money. It will be tied up in the court system for years as usual.

  • look deeper Apr 10, 11:29 a.m.

    The lawyers came up with the figure 150 mil, not the family; everyone understands that I hope. Still not enough to me, the Lawyer is going to get half of it afterall.

  • wake_up_jeff_0 Apr 10, 11:23 a.m.

    I think they are due some type of $$$...How much is not my call...But "IF" they get 150M...the lawyer will walk away with about 49.5M and the 4 injured about 25M each after it's all said in done...

  • 678devilish Apr 10, 11:20 a.m.

    They all should. They found that this was done deliberately.

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