A tragic accident during the filming of Transformers 3 has resulted in legal action. Last Tuesday, the family of Gabriella Cedillo, an extra in the film, filed a negligence lawsuit against Paramount Pictures and many others in Cook County Circuit Court (Illinois) in relation to a horrific injury she sustained while on the film’s set.
On September 1st, as Cedillo drove her personally owned Scion on the Transformers set in Hammond, Indiana, a disaster occurred. A cable and metal bracket attached to a stunt car moving 50 miles-per-hour in the opposite direction snapped, therefore causing the stunt car to break lose and strike Cedillo’s vehicle. According to the complaint, she suffered permanent brain damage, paralysis on her left side, and vision loss in her left eye as a result of this accident.
Cedillo’s family is seeking medical expenses, damages, and compensation for lost income from Paramount Pictures and the other defendants. Nonetheless, Paramount Pictures has been appropriately supportive thus far, as they have paid Cedillo’s medical expenses and have stated their continued intent to “provide all the help [they] can to [Cedillo] and her family during this difficult time.”
While it is very likely that Cedillo signed some sort of liability waiver, if this matter reaches trial (settlement seems more probable), it will be up to the jury to decide whether Paramount Pictures breached a duty of care owed to Cedillo. Todd Smith, Cedillo’s attorney, argues that Paramount Pictures “knew or should have known that crashing a stunt car at over 50 mph within 50 feet of ‘extras’ or other film persons could cause injury or bodily harm to the individuals on the set.” Will the jury agree?
This is such a terribly unfortunate story. Transformers 3 is scheduled to be released on July 1st, 2011. Perhaps Paramount Pictures could include some sort of increased recognition to Cedillo in the film’s credits?