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Final settlement reached in suit over State Fair ride accident

Posted May 11, 2015

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— A family of four injured when they were thrown from a ride at the North Carolina State Fair in 2013 have reached a settlement with the fair's midway operator.

The settlement with Powers Great American Midways is expected to end the suit, as the family reached settlements in December with the other three defendants in the case.

The Vortex started moving Oct. 24, 2013, while people were getting off the ride, throwing a number of people off.

Anthony Gorham suffered brain, skull, neck and spinal cord injuries as a result and spent nearly four months in a local hospital. His wife, Alisha Gorham, and her son and her niece were also seriously injured.

A criminal investigation found that a safety mechanism designed to keep The Vortex from moving had been disabled. Wake County authorities later arrested ride operator Timothy Tutterrow and owner Joshua Macaroni on three counts each of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury.

The Gorhams already settled with both men and with Family Attractions Amusement LLC, which operated the ride.

A judge must still sign off on the confidential settlements.

The family was seeking $150 million in the suit, including $100 million in punitive damages, arguing that the defendants were more interested in making money than they were about ride-goers' safety.

Anthony Gorham will require medical care for the rest of his life, and medical bills for the family could exceed more than $30 million over their lifetimes, the family's attorney estimated previously.

5 Comments

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  • Angie Cox May 12, 2015
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    I was in a bad car wreck (I was not at fault) and will suffer for the rest of my life. I was just happy to be alive. these frivolous law suits are getting out of hand.

  • Angie Cox May 12, 2015
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    View quoted thread


    but if he has insurance, the insurance companies don't pay "full" price.

  • Rebecca Caldwell May 12, 2015
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    There's not enough money in the world to compensate that man or family for what they lost,

  • Ileana Bryan May 11, 2015
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    Jeff, the article mentions the bills could exceed $30 million over lifetime. Having worked in the settlement department of a law firm, one of my duties was to call and get final balances on hospital bills for the clients. Some of the DAILY hospital bills for major, traumatic accidents were near the million dollar mark. Notice, I said DAILY! So, a $30 million dollar bill is, sadly, very possible. No bejeweled casts, band-aids, or body parts needed.

  • Jeff Abbott May 11, 2015
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    $30 million in medical bills? What??

    Did this guy get a prosthetic skull, neck and spinal cord made out of 14K gold?