Six Flags Denies Liability in Roller Coaster Death
This blog post has been edited. It was originally posted on November 13, 2013. Facts of this case may have developed or changed since the original post date. Settlements/verdicts may have been reached or are in progress.
Representatives of the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park claimed that they were not responsible for the death of a woman who fell from one of the park’s roller coasters. Park officials said that they did not build or design the roller coaster, and that an independent contractor was responsible for the restraint systems on the ride. Accident Information On July 19, 2013, Rosa Esparza was riding the Texas Giant roller coaster with her daughter and son-in-law, while her grandchildren waited for them at the end of the ride. Esparza’s daughter heard screaming behind her when the ride began its first steep descent, and turned to see her mother upside down, struggling to hold the safety bar as she was thrown from the car. Esparza was thrown against a support piling and fell to the metal roof of a tunnel. Restraint Repairs According to court documents, Six Flags claimed staff was properly trained in maintenance of the ride, and pointed to the millions of people who had ridden the ride without incident. Park officials said that they followed all manufacturers “maintenance and operational instructions,” and further contended that the park met ASTM standards and followed the requirements of Texas law. However, evidence showed that a restraint limit switch was replaced in the same car that Esparza was riding in a few days after the accident, and Six Flag acknowledged having replaced the mechanism. Responsibility Denial Six Flags officials said an independent contractor, Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, was responsible for the safety and design of the restraint system that did not keep Esparza inside the car. The ride reopened just days after the filing of the lawsuit by Esparza’s family. Six Flags categorically denied any wrongdoing in the incident. When negligence is suspected as the contributing factor in an accident that causes injury or death, a liability suit may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth attorneys, Frenkel & Frenkel, for a free initial consultation if you or a loved one has been injured, or a loved one has died, as a result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.