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Six Flags Over Texas Denies Liability In Texas Giant Death

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - Six Flags has denied being responsible for the death of a woman who fell off the Texas Giant roller coaster in July. In a court filing the company argues it was just an independent contractor, following the recommendations of the ride's designer and builder in Germany.

The family of Rosa Esparza who fell off the ride and died in July, has sued Six Flags for more than a million dollars. The suit filed in September, alleged that inspections turned up defective parts and a malfunctioning lighting system on the ride.

The response however, first reported by the Fort Worth Star Telegram Monday, says those parts were all designed and manufactured by Gerstlauer Amusement Rides. The German company has not been named in the suit.

The filing says Six Flags met the manufacturer recommendations for maintenance, inspections and operations. It also has a Certificate of Inspection from an independent inspector a few months before the incident.

When the ride re-opened last month, it had new restraint bars, redesigned by the manufacturer. There were also new seat belts and a test seat so riders could see if they fit the restraint system. Six Flags said at the time that experts had ruled out an mechanical failures contributing to the incident.

Esparza's family had also asked for bystander damages for her daughter, son-in-law and grandson. Six Flags argues the latter two don't meet the requirements for bystander damages under Texas law.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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