Family of injured 'Transformers' extra sues

October 5, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Gabriela Cedillo was working as an extra last month in Hammond, Indiana, when she was injured during a stunt.

Until the accident Cedillo was a college student and working in a bank as a teller. But acting was her passion, and she got the chance to work on Transformers 3 before the movie wrapped up its summer-long shoot.

The lawsuit filed on Cedillo's behalf alleges negligence on the part of the filmmakers for putting her in harms' way.

"From what I know, an extra is in the background," said Cedillo's brother Adolfo Romo. "Never did we think she'd be put in danger."

Romo says his younger sister was excited to work as an extra on Transformers 3. The 24-year-old hoped to be an actor one day and her brother was happy for her.

A stunt was being shot for the action movie on Cline Avenue in Hammond, Indiana, and Cedillo was to be one of many people driving their own cars in the background. But a metal object flew through her windshield and hit Cedillo in the head.

"To have people driving their vehicles in close proximity to stunts that are occurring as violently as these were, I think that's unusual," said Cedillo's attorney Todd Smith. "I think it's careless. I think it's negligent."

Smith and Romo, acting as Cedillo's guardian, filed a lawsuit claiming that while Cedillo was driving, stunt cars were being towed by flatbed trucks in the opposite lanes at a high rate of speed.

The cables pulling the cars were supposed to yank them, causing them to flip. Instead, one of the cables and an attached bracket from a stunt car came loose and hit Cedillo's hood, her windshield and her head.

"There was no indication that there was any risk associated with what would happen," Smith said.

Cedillo suffered major head trauma. More than a month after the accident, she is now at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. She is paralyzed on the left side but can make hand gestures and write notes with her right hand.

Her brother says Cedillo told him everything will be okay.

"My main concern is my sister. I just hope she can get back to her normal, daily activities," Romo said.

Paramount Pictures released this statement: "We are all terribly sorry that this accident occurred. Our thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with Gabriela, her family and loved ones. The production will continue to provide all the help we can to Gabriela and her family during this difficult time."

Cedillo's attorney says, the day before the accident, the movie crew apparently tried the same stunt but it didn't work.

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