Roller Coaster Lawsuit News: Six Flags Denies Wrongdoing
Anyone whom has been the victim of a tragic accident needs a good lawyer to protect their rights. Unfortunately, this is because it’s rare for any company to admit fault or admit negligence, no matter how obvious such liability would seem to be. There can often be more than one party responsible for an accident. Even when there is only one responsible party, that party may try to pin blame on third parties. In the effort to avoid any blame, even when wholly at fault, defendants will try many games.
For example, consider the accident that occurred back in July at Six Flags Over Texas. In that incident, a 52-year-old Dallas woman, Rosa Esparza ,was riding the Texas Giant roller coaster, when she came out of her seat just as the coaster began its initial rapid descent from the top of the ride. Esparza proceeded to fall 75 feet to her death.
A lawsuit was filed last month on behalf of Esparza’s family. The complaint noted that the amusement park industry had known for many years that lap bars were not sufficient restraints for roller coasters and that seat belts or other restraints were also needed for optimum safety. The complaint also suggested that investigations conducted on behalf of Esparza’s lawyers found “inconsistencies and intermittent failures” in the roller coaster’s safety systems.
Six Flags filed their response last week, in which they attempted to push all of the blame onto the roller coaster’s manufacturer. Six Flags argued that they had relied on the roller coaster’s designers, Germany-based Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, to design a quality product, and that they had no reason to anticipate problems, since they were unaware of any similar accidents on other Gerstlauer roller coasters, and had conducted their “comprehensive inspection and maintenance procedure,” which was “patterned in compliance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.” They also noted that more than 2.5 million people had ridden the Texas Giant before the fatal accident.
Since the accident, Six Flags over Texas has reopened the Texas Giant – in fact, they announced the reopening of the ride just a few hours after the Esarza family filed its lawsuit. All cars are now equipped with new restraint bar pads and seat belts. The park has also announced new rules, and that some people who have “unique body shapes or sizes” and may not fit snugly into the restraint system may be turned away from the ride.
Neither the state of Texas nor the federal government inspects amusement park rides. That means all inspections and maintenance tasks are performed by the company. Therefore, the investigations conducted by the plaintiffs’ attorneys will be extremely important, because it will have be determined whether the cause was a defective design, or lax park maintenance, or perhaps both.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an accident involving a ride at a carnival or theme park, please contact the experienced Texas Amusement Ride Accident Lawyers at Ramsey Hill LLP as soon as possible.