LOS ANGELES — A woman who fell to her death on a water ride at Knott’s Berry Farm last month couldn’t be belted in properly because she was too big for the ride, the manufacturer said.
A coroner’s report released Monday found the abdomen of Lori Mason-Larez, 40, was 8 inches larger than the 50-inch seat belt, said Sandor Kernacs, president of ride manufacturer Intamin Ltd.
He said Mason-Larez should not have gotten on the ride if she could not be safely restrained.
Mason-Larez’s family is suing the amusement park, its owner, Cedar Fair LP, and Intamin for unspecified damages.
The family’s attorney, Marc Feldman, said abrasions on Mason-Larez’s thighs indicate she was belted in before she fell. Investigators have speculated the nearly 300-pound woman placed the belt below her abdomen.
Feldman maintains weight was not a factor in Mason-Larez’s death, and noted that the only restriction placed on the Perilous Plunge ride was that passengers be at least 4 feet tall.
Kernacs said customers would contest weight or waist-size restrictions. "Basically, we cannot discriminate against anybody," he said.
The state Division of Occupation Safety and Health is investigating the death.
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