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Settlement Reached In Suit By Great Adventure Victim’s Family

December 20, 1985 GMT

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) _ The family of one of eight teen-agers killed in an amusement park fire last year will be paid $2.5 million in a settlement with the company that owns the park.

The agreement approved Thursday by Superior Court Judge Herbert Susser was the first monetary award to be settled in the case. Several lawsuits are pending.

Nicola Caiazza, 18, was one of the victims of the May 11, 1984, fire at the Great Adventure park’s Haunted Castle. The settlement calls for an immediate payment of $250,000 to his family and other payments over 30 years.

A jury in July found Great Adventure Inc. and its parent company, Six Flags Corp. of Chicago, innocent of aggravated and simple manslaughter in the deaths of the eight teens.

″The money doesn’t mean anything,″ Caiazza’s 24-year-old brother, Joseph, said. ″Money isn’t going to bring him back. The lawsuit wasn’t about monetary compensation. If we could get him back we’d give everything back.″

He said part of the money may be used for a scholarship fund or some other memorial to Nicola.

″We settled what we felt was on a fair and equitable basis,″ said Great Adventure attorney Shepard Goldfein.