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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Lawyers for woman injured in ‘Transformers’ stunt cite negligence in welding

    CHICAGO — Lawyers for a woman seriously injured during the filming of a stunt for “”Transformers 3″” said Thursday that the accident was caused in part by negligence and improper welding in construction of the automobile stunt.

    Chris Ferrone, a mechanical engineer with the litigation-consulting firm ARCCA, said the pictures from the accident show the welded materials were not fully integrated. He equated the welding to “”using gum to glue two things together.””

    “”They weren’t melted together, and so consequently there was no strength,”” he said.

    The Sept. 1 accident in Hammond, Ind., left Gabriela Cedillo permanently brain damaged, said Todd Smith, Cedillo’s lawyer. As part of the stunt, Cedillo was driving her car as a flatbed truck pulled a car in the oncoming lane with a cable connected to the car’s rear axle.

    As the stunt progressed, the cable was meant to pull the car from underneath and flip it backward, but the welds holding the cable to the car broke, shooting a piece of debris into Cedillo’s car, slicing the windshield and hitting her in the head, her attorneys said.

    On Wednesday, a representative from the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration cleared Paramount Pictures of violating any of the agency’s regulations in regards to the accident.

    Mark Lotter, an OSHA official, said the agency concluded that the accident occurred when a weld malfunctioned, but that the weld was made by a certified worker.

    In a statement, Lotter said the accident was “”unforeseeable”” and that the production company would not face fines or citations.

    Smith said OSHA was only verifying that regulations were met, not absolving the production company of wrongdoing.

    “”The fact is (the welds) were improper,”” he said. “”They were poorly done.””

    Adolfo Romo, Cedillo’s brother, said doctors are unsure of how Cedillo will recover from the accident. Romo said she can mouth words and recently was able to smile for the first time.

    “”It’s outrageous for someone to clear this, and I have my sister out there in the rehab center unable to walk, unable to eat,”” he said.

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