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Injured Movie Extra Gets $18 Million

CHICAGO (CN) - A "Transformers 3" extra who suffered brain damage when the cable holding her stunt car snapped will get $18 million in a settlement with Paramount Pictures.

Gabriella Cedillo, then 24, was a bank teller who landed a gig as an extra on the movie "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." She was severely injured on the set in September 2010.

While filming a scene in Hammond, Ind., involving 80 extras, a tow cable pulling her personal vehicle, a Toyota Scion, snapped, whipped around, crashed through the windshield and struck her head, according to her complaint. Her car plowed into a median barrier and rolled a mile down the road before stopping.

Cedillo claimed in court that the steel cable was improperly welded to the metal bracket on the bottom of the car, and unable to withstand speeds greater than 50 mph. She also claimed that the production company had no permits to use explosives on the day of the accident.

Cedillo was airlifted to Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago for emergency brain surgery and the film's production was temporarily suspended.

The accident left Cedillo with more than $800,000 in medical bills and permanent brain damage.

Last week, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Drella Savage approved an $18 million settlement agreement with Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks.

"The ultimate outcome in this case was justice for Gabriela. She lost about a third of the top of her skull, and a large part of the right side of her brain," Cedillo's attorney Todd Smith told the Chicago Sun-Times.

"She is on her feet and talking and for that we are thankful," Smith said. "On the other side, she had significant cognizant impairment and with a period of hallucinations. ... She is going to have issues for the rest of her life.

"A large part of her brain was lost. She has difficulty with memory. She can't remember when she went to the bathroom five minutes earlier," Smith said, according to E! online.

After the accident, the film studios announced that they would take care of Cedillo's medical bills, but "in reality, these companies did everything they could to avoid payment," Smith said in a statement.

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