NC State Fair’s Vortex victims to file lawsuit Thursday

From staff reportsApril 9, 2014 

The "Vortex" ride, near Gate 5 off of Youth Center Drive on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 in Raleigh, N.C. at the North Carolina State Fair.

COREY LOWENSTEIN — clowenst@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

— A family that suffered serious injuries when a ride malfunctioned at the N.C. State Fair plans to file a lawsuit in Durham on Thursday, seeking $150 million in damages.

The Gorhams have hired Willie Gary, a nationally known personal injury attorney, to represent them in suing Family Attractions Amusement Co., the Georgia company that brought the machine to the fair, and Powers Great American Midways, the company in charge of the midway, according to Tanya Wiley, a spokeswoman for Gary.

Kisha Gorham, Anthony Gorham, their son Justen Hunter and their niece Shykema Dempsey were aboard the Vortex when it unexpectedly spun into action last October, dumping some riders to the ground.

Anthony Gorham, perhaps the most seriously injured, remained hospitalized until February, and the family has turned to fund-raising to cover medical and living expenses.

Local authorities have charged the ride’s operator, Timothy Tutterrow of Georgia, and owner, Joshua Macaroni of Georgia, with multiple counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon in the case, possibly related to reckless operation of the ride.

Wake County Sheriff’s Office investigators found that someone had disabled critical safety features on the spinning machine, potentially allowing it to run without its safety restraints in place.

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