Six Flags Faces Lawsuit Over Fatal Roller Coaster Accident

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the family of a Texas woman who fell from a Six Flags roller coaster earlier this summer, alleging that the amusement park did not take adequate safety measures to prevent the accident.

The complaint was filed against Six Flags Entertainment Corp. last week, alleging that negligence caused the death of Rosa Esparza on July 19, when she fell from the “Texas Giant” roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington.

According to allegations raised in the Six Flags lawsuit, the roller coaster did not have adequate safety restraints. The claim accuses the company of knowing the ride’s restraints were unsafe and refusing to improve them.

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Esparza’s daughter reported hearing her mother scream behind her and seeing her mother thrown from the ride. She hit the ride, and then impacted the metal roof of a tunnel that was part of the roller coaster. She died from traumatic injuries suffered from the accident.

The roller coaster was shut down after the accident while an investigation into the 52-year-old woman’s death took place. However, the ride was re-opened over the weekend with redesigned restraint bars, new seat belts and new warnings. The amusement park now indicates that the Texas Giant roller coaster can not accomodate riders with “unique body shapes or sizes.”

Although Six Flags Amusement Park officials have maintained that they found no signs of mechanical failure, the lawsuit says the safety bar restraint failed, which is what allowed Esparza to fall out. The complaint also indicates that Six Flags officials admit to having found a defective limit switch for a restraint in the car Esparza rode in at the time of the accident and claims inspectors found failures and inconsistencies in the ride’s security systems.

The Texas Giant is a 153 foot-tall roller coaster with a 79 degree drop. It has more than 4,506 feet of track. Once made of wood, it was refurbished in 2011 and is now made of steel.

Since re-opening, Six Flags has also added sample seats at the ride entrances to let passengers sit in them and test the restraint system.

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