'Transformers 3' extra to get $18.5 million settlement after accident
A woman who sued over a brain injury she suffered in an accident on the set of "Transformers 3" will be paid an $18.5 million settlement, her attorney told OnTheRedCarpet.com.
Gabriella Cedillo, 26, had worked as an extra on the blockbuster sci-fi film and had said that in September 2010, she was driving a sedan on the film's set in Hammond, Indiana and was struck by a flying metal bracket that had broken off a stunt car and crashed into her.
Her brother Adolfo Romo sued the movie studio, Paramount Pictures, on her behalf, saying she suffered permanent brain damage and was rendered disabled as a result of the accident. DreamWorks, one of the movie's production companies, was also named as a defendant.
The lawsuit states Cedillo was driving in the opposite direction of a flatbed truck that had been pulling the stunt car via a cable attached to the bracket, which had been welded on its rear end. Her brother said she suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the accident. On Wednesday, May 23, her lawyer, Chicago attorney Todd Smith of Power Rogers & Smith, told OnTheRedCarpet.com that that the case has been resolved.
He said following mediation meetings, Paramount Pictures and production company DreamWorks agreed to pay Cedillo an $18.5 million settlement within the next 60 days and would cover her medical bills, which he said have totaled more than $1 million. The firms have not commented. The Indiana Occupation Safety and Health Administration had called the incident "an unfortunate and unforeseeable accident."
Cedillo had blamed Paramount Pictures for "intentionally" crashing the stunt car "at a speed in excess of 50 mph by a violent pulling of the cable connections" and claimed that the studio was aware or should have been aware of the safety risk of having such a stunt performed within 50 feet of people working on the set. Video of the accident was posted on RadarOnline.
Her lawyer said Cedillo had been forced to rely on public aid to cover her medical costs and that her settlement is likely to exceed $21 million because she has a pending worker's compensation case as well.
He said this was not her first job as a film extra and that at the time of the accident, Cedillo had also been a student at Morton Community College and had worked part-time as a bank teller.
Her brother told WLS Television, sister station of OnTheRedCarpet.com's parent company KABC Television, that Cedillo is a patient at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and recently underwent surgery to put in a new plate to replace a piece of her skull that was shattered in the accident.
He said she can walk, talk and feed herself but that as a result of the brain damage, thoughts now come across to her as spoken words.
"There is anger, of course, but we just have to continue to stay positive for Gabi," he told the station.