Arlington, TX –

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© COASTER-net, Grant Martin

A few weeks after Six Flags laid blame on the train’s ride manufacturer for last summer’s accidental death on New Texas Giant, Gerstlauer shot back with new claims that the park refused seatbelts to be placed on the ride when it was remodeled and opened in 2011. Six Flags tried to blame the company saying that the trains were defective and dangerous while the manufacturer claims the accident could have been avoided if Six Flags did things differently. In a statement made in their filing they say, “Six Flags ordered Gerstlauer not to put seat belts on the train. The trains were designed according to Six Flags’ specifications. Six Flags expressly designed and specified in writing that there be no seat belts on the trains for the Texas Giant.” Six Flags was quick to counter the assertion by replying, “The manufacturer assured Six Flags that the Texas Giant, without seat belts, was safe for riders. As an additional safety measure, when the ride reopened in September, we added incremental and overlapping safety measures including redesigned restraint bar pads and new seat belts. The safety of our guests is our number one priority.”

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© COASTER-net, Andrew Rybarczyk

Gerstlauer also claimed that it had provided Six Flags with a test seat in 2011 as well, stating “Six Flags only began using this system after the accident.” Such a seat would have been placed at the ride’s entrance and could determine if a guest would be able to ride based on his or her body size. The company also says that Six Flags should also be held accountable because they did not train or supervise its ride operators adequately. According to the Sacremento Bee, Arnd Von Waldow, an attorney for Gerstaluer, also claimed that it was Six Flags’ own tests that determined that the ride was safe to operate. The company alleges that Six Flags conducted its own safety test by hanging upside down in the car and from that test it was determined no seat belt would be needed on the ride. They go on further to say, “The trains were delivered to Six Flags over two years before the accident and Gerstlauer had no control over the operation and maintenance of the trains. Six Flags was heavily and integrally involved in the design, specification, testing and installation of the trains.”

Gerstaluer through the filing asked for the cross action to be dismissed and stated that Six Flags has “pointed a finger, but all fingers point right back to them. This accident was caused solely by the failure of Six Flags’ own personnel to follow the ride and safety instructions and rules issued both by Gerstlauer and by Six Flags. Six Flags has unclean hands.”