Stunt accident on "Transformers 3" set left extra with "significant brain impairment," lawyers say
An $18.5 million settlement has been reached in the case of an extra who sustained brain damage and other injuries while working on the set of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" in 2010, lawyers for the extra said Wednesday.
The settlement was approved with an order from Judge Drella C. Savage of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Law Division.
According to the attorneys, 26-year-old Gabriella Cedillo was one of about 80 extras working on location in Hammond, Indiana on Sept. 1, 2010, when a car stunt went wrong, severely injuring Cedillo, who was driving her own car, as were the other extras. A cable and bracket securing a stunt vehicle to another vehicle broke loose, flying into Cedillo's windshield and hitting her in the head.
As a result of the accident, Cedillo suffered "a severe open head trauma which resulted in her hospitalization, and has now left her with significant brain impairment," her lawyers said.
“We are pleased that the Cedillo family has agreed to move forward with the settlement," a Paramount spokesman told TheWrap in a statement. "This was a tragic accident, and our thoughts and prayers remain with Gabriela."
According to the attorneys, permits had not been secured for fireworks or explosive devices on the day of the accident. On the previous day, an attempt to perform the stunt failed, and "hurried alterations were made to prepare additional vehicles for filming the very next day," including a "completely inadequate superficial weld [that] had been applied in a failed effort to secure the bracket to the car," the lawyers said.
Cedillo's lawyers claim that Paramount initially offered to pay her medical expenses, but "did everything they could to avoid payment," including the filing of multiple lawsuits "seeking to avoid compensating her appropriately."