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Six Flags Sues Texas Giant Maker

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Elizabeth Dinh
Elizabeth joined CBS 11 News from Seattle's KOMO-TV in December 2...
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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - Last summer, amusement park visitor Rosa Esparza fell to her death from the Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. Now, the theme park company is suing the maker of that ride, claiming that the German company which made the Texas Giant trains after the attraction was renovated is at fault.

The Texas Giant is scheduled to open when the new Six Flags Over Texas season begins on Saturday, March 1. But the issue of who is to blame for the 52-year-old rider’s tragic death is still being battled. Legal action in this case began last fall when the Esparza’s family sued Six Flags and the company that made the roller coaster.

That lawsuit stemmed from what happened on July 19 of last year. Just a few moments after the ride began, Esparza was thrown from the Texas Giant roller coaster. She fell and died.

Six Flags on Friday filed what is called ‘cross-action’ against Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, siding with Esparza’s family to say that the roller coaster’s makers are at fault. The theme park company claims that it followed the manufacturer’s recommended procedures to operate and maintain the Texas Giant, but that the roller coaster was a “defective product that was unreasonably dangerous in design, manufacture, distribution and promotion.”

In a written statement on Tuesday, Six Flags Over Texas spokeswoman Sharon Parker said, “We re-opened the ride last fall following the addition of incremental and overlapping safety measures that included re-designed restraint bar pads from the manufacturer and new seat belts.”

An attorney who represents Gerstlauer Amusement Rides stated that the company does not believe that the roller coaster is defective, and that Six Flags engineers were involved in the design. Six Flags even specifically stated that there be “no seat belts” in the contract. The company believes that Six Flags Over Texas workers failed to follow correct procedure as Esparza went on the ride.

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