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Lawyers dispute ruling in 'Transformers' stunt accident

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Attorneys for a woman seriously injured during the filming of a movie stunt are insisting that accident was caused by negligence and improper welding.

This comes just one day after the producers of "Transformers 3" were cleared by Indiana officials of wrongdoing.

The September movie stunt was to have a car flip up as extras drove past. But the Transformers stunt went wrong when a piece a metal apparently hit Gabriela Cedillo's car.

"I just wanted to thank everyone that's prayed for the family, because that means a lot-- it's pretty much what keeps us going," said Rudy Romo, Cedillo's brother.

An investigation by Indiana Occupational Health and Safety Administration found a bad weld caused the accident and that all safety precautions had been taken. It's that last part that is so troubling for the Cedillo's family.

"This is definitely carelessness," said Romo.

Cedillo's brother spoke Thursday at a press conference called by the family's attorney.

"This case is much more than about statutory provisions in an OSHA manual; this case is about carelessness that occurs in a movie set," said Todd Smith, Cedillo's attorney.

Smith hired a mechanical engineer to look at the weld on the rear axle of the stunt car. They explain the stunt car was being pulled by a truck with a cable, and that cable was pulling on the newly welded piece of metal, instead of pulling on the axle and the new welds.

They say it was that piece of metal that ended up in Cedillo's car.

"Essentially, this is a superficial weld. When you look at it, it looks like its welded, but because there is no penetration or fusion of the two pieces, it had no strength," said Chris Ferrone, ARCCA.

"I hope my sister gets better," said Romo, "but I just hope that nobody ever has to go through this, ever, because it's very painful, it's very difficult."

As investigators and litigators do their parts, Gabriela Cedillo continues to recovery from her brain injury.

She cannot walk or eat by herself. Her family is hopeful but expects her life has changed forever.

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