While the investigation continues into the death of a woman who fell from a roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas, one question being raised is why Texas is one of at least 17 states that has no state or federal agency responsible for enforcing amusement park safety.
According to reports, the woman was seated in the 3rd row of the Texas Giant, the tallest steel-hybrid roller coaster in the world when she plummeted from the ride. A report stated that as the carts began the steep descent from the first large hill of track, the woman was somehow ejected from her seat falling approximately 75 feet, striking a support metal beam before landing on the metal roof of the tunnel. The cause of death has been attributed to multiple traumatic injuries, although investigators have yet to confirm the manner of her death. They will be looking into the restraints on the cart and whether they broke or came loose, as well as whether the woman suffered a medical condition. The investigation will be led by Six Flags and Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, maker of the roller coaster.
U.S. Sen. Edward Markey – MA (D) introduced legislation every congressional session dating back to 1999 to establish federal regulation over all amusement park rides because he believed there were enough serious accidents to warrant federal intervention. Unfortunately, the measure never passed. After this latest fatality, Markey is renewing his call for what he terms a “totality of the safety system” for roller coasters and other rides. Markey says families who visit amusement parks in any state should be confident that all rides meet the same federal standards. Without federal regulations, states can have different regulations for ride inspection and safety, including who is in charge of inspections and investigating accidents, as well as how the accidents are reported. For those who have been injured, or worse lost a loved one, the brief thrill seems hardly worth it. As Markey put it, “A baby stroller is subject to tougher federal regulation than a roller coaster carrying a child in excess of 100 miles per hour.” With that in mind, doesn’t it seem only practical that amusement park rides be subjected to tough federal safety standards?
Mark Bello has thirty-six years experience as a trial lawyer and fourteen years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Member of Public Justice, Public Citizen, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series—Mark Bello is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.