Posted: May 25 2012
HOLLYWOOD – Part-time actress Gabriella Cedillo became seriously injured during the filming of a scene of the movie Transformers in September 2010.
A high-voltage wire snagged loose and smashed through the car window Cedillo sat in as a driver. The cable hit the car with such force, a hook attached to the wire tore open part of the hood as if it was a tin can.
Cedillo was immediately rushed to a hospital and underwent extensive emergency surgery. Yet the 26 year old, who also worked part-time as a bank teller, is paralyzed on the left side of her body and suffers permanent brain damage.
On Wednesday, a Los Angeles judge awarded Gabriella Cedillo a monetary settlement of $US18.5 million; a small consolation considering the young woman will spend the rest of her life needing 24 hours care and supervision, unable to perform even the most basic function by herself.
Cedillo’s lawyers didn’t just point out the safety neglect of the studios while filming the movie but highlighted the callousness with which Paramount Studios and Dreamwork’s Studios did everything they could to avoid paying the super expensive medical bills as well as any financial compensation.
One witness said during the court trial:
“The cable didn’t just snap and slam right through the windshield, it also went through her skull.”
“From where I was standing I couldn’t tell if she was instantly knocked out but her vehicle continued to move forward.”
Gabriella had decided to use her own car for the stunt because she was told, as were other stand-ins, that she would receive an extra $25 per day.
The eyewitness said “we aren’t trained stuntmen”. “Yet we were never told there was possible danger with what we were about to do. If you look at what we got paid to do this, it was absolutely not worth the risk.”
Director Michael Bay had pointed out the importance for safety before shooting the scene. However, his message was only intended for the ‘real stars’ of the movie, not the supporting actors.
“Her brain capacity is as good as gone,” Gabriella’s lawyer said. “She now has the mental equivalent of a small child.”
Neither Paramount Studios nor Dreamwork’s Studio were available for comments.
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