Like most extras working on Hollywood movie sets, Gabriela Cedillo most likely was required to sign a waiver prior to working on the set of Transformers 3. However, even if she had signed a waiver, Paramount Pictures, the production company producing Transformers 3, could be held liable for her severe injury while working as an extra on set. The Chicago personal injury lawsuit was filed in Cook County earlier this month, Adolfo Romo, etc. v. Paramount Pictures, et al., No. 10 L 11309.
On the date of her personal injury, Cedillo was participating in a scene with over 75 other extras. She was driving her car in the opposite lane of a flatbed truck hauling multiple cars. The scene involved a stunt wherein two of the towed cars would rise in the air and then flip, all while being pulled at over 50 mph. The scene was made possible by the use of a pulling cable.
However, on the date of injury the cable and bracket broke loose, whipping various parts into the oncoming lanes where the extras were driving. A large piece of iron struck the roof of Cedillo’s car, resulting in her severe personal injuries, including loss of vision in her left eye, permanent left sided paralysis, a brain herniation, and abdominal injuries.
Cedillo spent over a month in Loyola University Medical Center’s intensive care unit and remains in a rehabilitation facility for further treatment. Several surgeries later, she is still unable to speak and is being fed through a tube in her stomach.
The Illinois personal injury complaint alleges that negligence against Paramount Pictures and states that the plaintiff’s injuries resulted from the fact that a metal bracket was not properly welded to the stunt car. The complaint also alleges that the same stunt had failed the day prior to the accident. This allegation is a key piece of the plaintiff’s case because it could help support claims that the production company knew or should have known that the stunt was unsafe and unduly dangerous.
Paramount’s lawyers will most likely respond to this line of argument by alleging that the plaintiff should have known about the risks and possibly will argue that she had been informed in the form of a waiver. In addition, Paramount will likely argue that the broken cable and bracket was an unforeseen event and that they could not have control over it.
As a recently filed Illinois personal injury lawsuit the final outcome of the current case will not be for some time. Most likely the production of Transformers 3, which has continued during the course of this legal dispute, will be completed long before this lawsuit either settles or goes to trial.
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