A “Transformers 3” extra who was "disfigured and disabled" during a stunt gone wrong is suing Paramount Pictures for negligence, seeking medical expenses, damages, and compensation for lost income, according to a suit filed Tuesday.
Last month, Gabriela Cedillo sustained severe head trauma in an accident on the Indiana set of the action movie that has left her partially paralyzed on the left side of her body , her attorney Todd Smith told TheWrap.
At the time, stunt vehicles were being towed by flatbed trucks in the opposite lanes at a high-speed. A pulling cable broke free and broke through the windshield of Cedillo’s 2006 Honda, slicing her head open. She was not part of the stunt team.
“This was an attractive 24-year old girl who had dreams and aspirations involving acting, and this kind of injury may well have a serious impact on her dreams,” Smith told TheWrap.
Tuesday’s suit was filed at the behest of Cedillo’s guardian and brother Adolfo Romo in Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois. In addition to the studio, the suit also names Film Industry Location Management Services; location managers Allen Nolan-Cohn, Nick Rafferty, and Nick Jamison; and film equipment provider Ryerson Inc.
Some big names are not cited in the suit, including director Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg. Cedillo’s lawyer, however, said that additional members of the production staff may be named after the discovery process is over.
The filing alleges that the film’s crew failed to properly weld a metal bracket between the trucks, did not implement appropriate safety procedures, and allowed untrained extras to drive their vehicles in close proximity to a dangerous stunt.
“[Cedillo] has endured and will in the future endure pain and suffering; has become disfigured and disabled; has suffered a loss of the enjoyment of a normal life; has been damaged in her capacity to earn a living; has incurred and will in the future incur expenses for medical services, all of which are permanent in nature,” the complaint reads.
In response to the suit, Paramount released the following statement: "We are all terribly sorry that this accident occurred. Our thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with Gabriela, her family and loved ones. The production will continue to provide all the help we can to Gabriela and her family during this difficult time.”
After undergoing emergency neurosurgery following her accident, Cedillo is recuperating at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
"Transformers 3" hits theaters on July 1, 2011.
Pamela Chelin contributed reporting to this story.