Six Flags El Diablo ride restraint failed and injured girl, lawsuit alleges
The parents of a Gibbstown juvenile are suing Six Flags Great Adventure over claims that their daughter was injured on a ride at the Jackson Township amusement park.
Serafin and Margaret Alesiani say their daughter, Rachel, rode the El Diablo rollercoaster on Sept. 13, 2015, and is still suffering from the experience.
The ride consists of a single, seven-story loop that briefly leaves riders suspended upside down. They are restrained by a lapbelt and over-the-shoulder harness.
The Alesianis say the belt disengaged as their daughter rode El Diablo. She had to “struggle to hold onto the shoulder bar in order to keep her body in the seat while the rollercoaster proceeded through its course,” the family alleges.
The Alesianis also claim ride staff didn’t check that the restraints were secure before the ride began.
Once their daughter exited the ride, she told her mother what had happened and she notified staff members. The ride was then closed for “technical difficulties,” the suit states.
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Rachel suffered “serious, severe and permanent” injuries, including shoulder, cervical, thoracic and lumbar strains and sprains, as well as “severe shock to her emotional, psychological and nervous systems,” according to the suit.
Six Flags was reckless, careless and negligent for failing to ensure that the ride’s safety systems were in working order, the family alleges.
The suit was originally filed in state Superior Court but was transferred to federal court because the parties involved are residents of different states and because the “amount in controversy” exceeds $75,000. Six Flags is a Delaware corporation with its base of operations in Grand Prairie, Texas.
The Alesianis don’t state in their suit how much money they are seeking from Six Flags.
Attorneys for Six Flags filed a motion last week seeking dismissal of the suit on several points.
They note that the family originally filed suit in August of this year, long after the 90-day window amusement park patrons in New Jersey have to report an alleged accident to a park operator before filing a personal injury claim.
They also argue that Six Flags cannot be held responsible for product defects, since the operator didn’t design, manufacture or sell the ride.
A Six Flags spokeswoman said the company does not comment on pending litigation.