Many people who live in Louisiana have likely patronized Six Flags Over Texas. Last Friday, July 19, a woman fell to her death while on the Texas Giant roller coaster. According to reports from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office, the 52-year-old woman fell approximately 75 feet when she fell out of the ride’s restraint in her seat.
The medical examiner said the woman fell when the ride “began the steep descent from the first large hill of track.” She hit a support beam during the fall and landed on a metal tunnel roof. She suffered “extensive trauma of the torso.”
There have been many industry analysts who have criticized the amusement park because it will investigate what went wrong on its own. However, a wrongful death lawsuit is expected in the woman’s death. Some believe the recovery in such a lawsuit could be very high, with one personal injury attorney estimating it could go as high as “eight figures.”
This will be an insured loss, according to another attorney, on all potential defendants, including Six Flags and the ride manufacturer. The family of the decedent has not spoken to the media, but there are reports that they have already retained an attorney.
Six Flags reported to federal regulators that it carries up to $100 million in excess liability insurance per incident. During the first six months of this year, the amusement park reported a record-high revenue of $451 million.
Six Flags has not commented on the fatal accident investigation, except to say they are using “external experts” in the investigation. Arlington, Texas, police are also investigating, but have all but ruled out foul play. In addition, it does not appear that any of the ride operators were intoxicated. Security video is being reviewed during both investigations, and witness are still being interviewed.
The ride manufacturer is based out of Germany and is reportedly sending experts over to examine the ride, which is currently closed. The company, Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, could be named in a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you or your family finds themselves in a similar situation, contact an experienced Louisiana personal injury attorney as soon as possible. This is the best way to ensure your rights and options are known and protected throughout the civil process.
latimes.com, “Six Flags death: Woman’s family could win big damages in court” Matt Pearce, Jul. 23, 2013