CHARLESTON - A woman is claiming she almost had her pinky finger taken off by a ride at the State Fair of West Virginia in 2003.

Maxine Kelley filed a lawsuit May 26 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Reithoffer Shows, Inc., the State Fair of West Virginia, a division of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, Torray Palmer and John Doe, an unknown person who sprayed the ride with water.

James R. Fox of Warner Law Offices in Charleston is representing Kelley.

Kelley says she was on a ride called "The Tornado" on Aug. 14, 2003, when the incident occurred.

"While Maxine Kelley was riding the tornado, the operators sprayed water on the occupants, seats, steps and platform of the ride," the complaint says. "As a result, the walkway was slick and hazardous.

"This hazardous condition was also increased because the operators kept the ride in motion while passengers were disembarking."

Kelley says Palmer was the chief operator of the ride.

"Kelley slipped and fell while attempting to get off the ride, which caused her pinky finger to get caught and nearly be ripped off," the complaint says.

Reithoff Shows, Inc., is the alleged ride provider for the State Fair, which is held every August in Fairlea, a town in Greenbrier County near Lewisburg.

Kelley is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Judge James Stucky has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-1011

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