$150 Million Lawsuit Filed In North Carolina State Fair Case

Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Can I wait a few months to pursue a personal injury claim?”


Almost six months after a horrific fair accident left several people seriously injured at the North Carolina State Fair, a group has filed the first personal injury lawsuit in the case. The suit was filed by four family members who were riding the Vortex at the time of the accident and all sustained serious injuries as a result of the malfunction.


Fair ride Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg County Wrongful Death AttorneyThe lawsuit was filed against a worker in charge of the ride, the owner of the Vortex machine itself and two other companies that service fair attractions. The lawsuit was filed by the Gorham family and seeks an astounding $150 million from the defendants, a sum that rests largely on punitive damages. The lawsuit estimates that medical bills could continue costing the family money for decades to come and may end up totaling as much as $30 million. The remainder, $120 million, is intended to punish those responsible and ensure that another tragedy like this never happens again.


The Gorham family, Kisha and her husband Anthony, as well as their 14-year-old son and a niece, were all trying to get off the ride when it sprang back to life and threw the riders back into the area, many of whom were unsecured. Anthony Gorham suffered permanent brain damage, neck and spinal trauma and is now unable to act on his own legally. The man has had multiple brain surgeries and continues to struggle with what many agree will be a lengthy recovery.


One of those sued in the case is Timothy Tutterrow, a man from Georgia who police have said may have tampered with critical safety systems on the ride prior to the disaster. Safety investigators say they believe Tutterrow’s actions may have allowed the machine to continue operating when riders’ safety restraints were in the unlocked position. In addition to the civil lawsuit, Tutterrow faces criminal charges including assault with a deadly weapon.


The lawsuit filed against the ride operator, attraction owner and employees say that the defendants are liable due to their negligence and greed. They claim that the companies stood to profit by rigging the Vortex so that passengers could get on and off more quickly, an attempt to get a higher turnover that ultimately proved deadly. For their part, some defendants claim that their pay was the same regardless of the number of riders; an argument they say discredits the claim that they were motivated purely by profit.


If you, or someone you know, have any questions regarding personal injury claims, please feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys and lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina at Arnold & Smith, PLLC for a free consultation. Call at 704-370-2828 or click here for additional resources.


About the Author:

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member with Arnold & Smith, PLLC where he focuses his practice on Personal Injury, Family Law and Business Litigation. Mr. Arnold began his career handling insurance defense litigation for several major insurance companies. He also went on to handle business litigation cases and high value mortgage fraud cases, primarily in Superior Court.

Mr. Arnold grew up in Charlotte, graduating from Providence Senior High School and continued his education at Belmont Abbey College on a basketball scholarship. After graduating cum laude he attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship. In his spare time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time on the North Carolina Coast with his wife and three young children: two daughters and one son.



“NC State Fair’s Vortex accident becomes high-profile lawsuit,” by Jay Price, published at NewsObserver.com.



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