Victims of 2013 State Fair ride accident reach partial settlement in civil lawsuit
Posted December 10, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Four people injured when they were thrown last year from a ride at the North Carolina State Fair have settled a lawsuit with three of the four defendants named in a civil complaint in April, according to a federal court document filed Wednesday.
Details of the settlement were undisclosed, but the family sought $150 million in damages -- $100 million punitive and $50 million compensatory – against Powers Great American Midways, which brought The Vortex to the 2013 fair, and Family Attractions Amusement LLC, which operated the ride.
Also named as defendants were the ride's owner, Joshua Macaroni, and Timothy Tutterrow, the fair worker operating The Vortex when it started moving Oct. 24, 2013, while people were getting 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.
The family settled with Family Attractions Amusement, Macaroni and Tutterrow. The lawsuit is still pending against Powers Great American Midways.
An attorney for the Gorhams claimed the defendants were more interested in making money than they were about ride-goers' safety and that they were negligent by failing to correct and remedy problems identified with the ride.
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, their attorney estimated.
Days after the accident, Wake County authorities arrested Tutterrow and Macaroni 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.
Both men's criminal cases are still working their way in through the court system.