Six Flags responds to lawsuit filed over fatal roller coaster accident in Arlington, Texas

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by Charles Miller

In July, 52 year-old Rosa Esparza of Dallas fell to her death from the Texas Giant roller coaster at the Six Flags park in Arlington. Her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Tarrant County naming the amusement park, Six Flags Entertainment Corp., Six Flags Theme Parks, Inc. and Texas Flags, Ltd. as defendants.

The Texas Giant coaster rises 14 stories high and has a 79-degree first drop, which is the steepest such drop in the world for a wooden roller coaster. Esparza’s family alleges that she was upside down in her seat and holding on for “dear life” before she was thrown to her death. The car had no seat belt or shoulder harness, only a single lap or “T-bar” to restrain passengers. The lawsuit alleges that prior to the accident there were problems with the ride’s security system and that park employees should not have allowed the train to be dispatched unless each safety bar restraint was in the proper position.

In response to the lawsuit, Six Flags Over Texas denied liability and asserted that it complied with inspections and maintenance procedures recommended by the German company, Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, that designed and manufactured the roller coaster train, its passenger restraint system and the track the ride operates on.

The Texas Giant was immediately shut down following the fatal accident. Last month, Six Flags reopened the ride and has said its investigation found that no mechanical failure was involved in the accident. However, since the accident, Six Flags has added re-designed restraint-bar pads from the manufacturer as well as new seat belts. In addition, Six Flags now provides a sample coaster seat at the ride entrance for guests to test their fit before entering the line. According to the park, guests with “unique body shapes and sizes” may not fit into the ride’s restraint system.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson fighting for safety

To successfully bring a claim involving an injury or death at a traveling carnival, on a portable inflatable attraction or at a fixed-site amusement such as roller coasters at a theme park, you need an experienced, educated attorney on your side. You also need an attorney with the financial resources to take the case to trial. The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have tried hundreds of cases to verdict and reached settlements in hundreds more. In the year 2010 alone, we settled personal injury and wrongful death claims totaling more than $50 million.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson also possesses the financial resources to take on personal injury cases from start to finish. In many cases, our firm has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a case in order to take it to trial. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we are committed to achieving justice for our clients, whatever the cost.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of an amusement park accident, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for your free case evaluation and to learn more about your legal right to compensation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out a free legal consultation form.