A lawyer for a film extra seriously injured on a movie set intends to press on with a lawsuit even though a safety agency isn’t issuing citations.
Gabriela Cedillo was driving her own car when she was struck on the head by a piece of flying metal during a stunt sequence for Transformers 3.
Cedillo suffered permanent brain damage, is paralyzed on her left side and can’t see out of her left eye because it’s stitched shut.
Indiana OSHA (IOSHA) determined the crash occurred due to the failure of a weld connecting a car to a tow cable. IOSHA says the weld was made by a certified welder and all necessary safety precautions were in place, so it won’t issue citations or fines.
Todd Smith, Cedillo’s attorney, issued a statement that “the family is deeply saddened and disappointed by this ridiculous conclusion by [IOSHA].”
Smith says a licensed engineer and a metallurgist inspected the weld and connections between the cable and the stunt car and concluded the connections were performed in a faulty, negligent and careless fashion.
A lawsuit has been filed on Cedillo’s behalf against Paramount Pictures and metal distributor Ryerson, Inc., claiming negligence in the crash.
As part of the stunt, Cedillo was driving her car in Hammond, IN, as flatbed trucks pulling cars and going more than 50 mph approached on the opposite side of the road.
When Cedillo’s car neared, a metal bracket welded to one of the stunt cars broke loose, flew across the median, sliced the hood of her car, shattered the windshield and hit her in the head.
While an OSHA fine wouldn’t guarantee success of a lawsuit, lack of one doesn’t bar a sympathetic jury from awarding a substantial amount to a worker injured in a crash.