German roller coaster manufacturer sues Six Flags over accident

Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, the German maker of the train cars used on the Texas Giant, filed a cross-action against Six Flags Over Texas, the latest volley in the lawsuit brought by the family of a Dallas woman who fell to her death from the roller coaster last summer.

The filing Friday in State District Court in Tarrant County comes two days after Gerstlauer responded to a suit filed against the manufacturer by Six Flags.

Gerstlauer reiterated many of its allegations in the new filing, saying Six Flags was negligent in the death of Rosa Esparza, 52, who fell 75 feet to her death last July at the Arlington park.

Gerstlauer said that Six Flags didn’t follow its instructions and safety warnings for the ride, didn’t properly train its employees, and declined to put seat belts on the ride or provide the “test seat” it was given to make sure riders could fit on the ride.

Esparza’s size has come into question in the accident’s investigation, as well as whether a restraint bar was in the right position.

“Gerstlauer warned Six Flags that passengers could fall out of the train during the ride, specifically stating that the restraints must be closed as tight as possible,” the new filing said. “Six Flags’ refusal to let its guest use the “test seat,” coupled with Six Flags’ other negligent acts, was the cause of the accident.”

Gerstlauer is seeking unspecified damages for the harm it says Six Flags has caused to its business reputation and for lost opportunities, as well as other damages.

Esparza’s family filed suit against Six Flags and Gerstlauer in September.