CHICAGO (CN) – A “Transformers 3” extra who suffered severe brain damage after the cable holding her stunt car snapped will receive $18 million in a settlement with Paramount Pictures.
In September 2010, Gabriella Cedillo was working as an extra on “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”
During the filming of a scene in Hammond, Ind., involving 80 extras, the 24-year-old bank teller was sitting in a Toyota Scion being pulled by a tow cable.
But the cable snapped, whipped around, crashed through the Scion’s windshield and struck Cedillo in the head, according her complaint. The Scion plowed into a median barrier and rolled a mile down the road.
Cedillo claimed that the steel cable pulling the car had been improperly welded to the metal bracket on the bottom of the vehicle, making it unable to withstand speeds greater than 50 mph. She also said the production company did not have permits to use explosives on the day of the accident.
After the accident, Cedillo was immediately airlifted to Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago for emergency brain surgery, and filmmakers temporarily suspended production.
Cedillo says the accident left her with more than $800,000 in medical bills and permanent brain damage.
Last week, Judge Drella Savage with the Cook County Circuit Court approved an $18 million settlement agreement with Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks.
Cedillo’s lawyer, Todd Smith, said he was happy with the terms of the deal.
“The ultimate outcome in this case was justice for Gabriela,” Smith said at a news conference, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “She lost about a third of the top of her skull, and a large part of the right side of her brain.”
“She is on her feet and talking and for that we are thankful,” Smith added. “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 continued, according to E! online.
After the accident, the film studios publicly 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 press release.
“This settlement will provide Gabi with the medical care and in-home support that she needs,” Smith added.