A Transformers: Dark of the Moon extra who was critically injured when a stunt went awry during production two years ago will receive an $18 million settlement.
Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks agreed to the payout to cover the cost of Grabiela Cedillo's soaring medical bills, as well as the damages for pain and suffering the 26-year-old endured from the mishap, which left her with permanent brain damage.
The settlement was announced by the woman's attorneys in Chicago today and approved by a Cook County judge.
"She is on her feet and talking and for that we are thankful," her lawyer, Todd Smith, told reporters at a press conference. "On the other side, she has significant cognizant impairment and with a period of hallucinations…She is going to have issues for the rest of her life."
Cedillo's family filed suit against the studios on her behalf, noting that hospital bills from her emergency brain surgery and subsequent recovery have topped $350,000 and forced her to go on public aid.
The bank teller was driving her own car during a scene that involved multiple vehicles on the sequel's Hammond, Indiana set on Sept. 1, 2010 when she was struck in the head by a tow cable that came loose and smashed through her windshield.
Cedillo was treated on the scene by emergency medical personnel and airlifted to nearby Loyola University Medical Center where doctors managed to save her life, but not without the woman sustaining permanent impairment.
Noted Smith: "A large part of her brain was lost. She has difficulty with memory. She can't remember when she went to the bathroom five minutes earlier. "
The legal eagle pointed out that the day after his client's accident Paramount and director Michael Bay made statements that they would provide for her medical care, but alleges that they had not lived up to those statements.
"They are all about the bottom line. They wanted their movie out and they didn't want this clouding the issue," said Smith.
Reps for the studios could not be reached for comment.
—Reporting by Claudia Rosenbaum