Evidence Video was on hand for years following a horrific accident involving a young woman who was hired as an extra in the Paramount motion picture Transformers 3.
Gabriela Cedillo, 26, was filming scenes using her own car during a stunt when a cable, which was welded to the underside of the vehicle broke loose and crashed into her windshield. As a result of the accident and the negligence of the pro-duction company, Cedillo suffered se-vere open head trauma. She has significant cognitive impairment, loss of vision in one eye and balance issues due to her brain trauma. The long-term prognosis is unclear.
After the accident, Cedillo’s family re-tained attorneys Todd Smith and Brian LaCien of the law firm Power, Rogers and Smith.
Todd Smith immediately reached out to Evidence Video requesting footage from the intensive care unit at Loyola Hospital. Evidence Video crews quickly set up taping and photographs with hospital officials following the accident. The footage would help show how Cedillo’s life had forever changed.
Evidence Video videotaped her slow recovery and was on hand when Cedillo went home for the first time. Following her days at Loyola Hospital, Evidence Video followed her transfer at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s out-patient therapy program. Over a two-year period, Evidence Video helped create a timeline for Cedillo’s therapy. This is designed to help with future mediation.
The video also depicted how the life of Cedillo’s loved ones had forever been changed. At this point she needs atten-dant care due to her cognitive deficit.
“To establish the nature of the injury and the recovery is critical in this kind of case,” said attorney Todd Smith. “To capture the intangibles in law is a hard thing to do, but with the use of video and the help of a camera, capturing these moments can be done in minutes and the impact can last a lifetime” he said.
To help with future mediation, Evidence Video began working on a Living Plaintiff Documentary, which is a narrative used as an out-of-court settlement tool. The Documentary combined footage of interviews conducted with Cedillo’s family, friends and colleagues, to help explain the nature of her injuries and the impact it has on her quality of life. They also helped tell the story of how Cedillo’s life could have been had the accident never occurred, and what suc-cess may have come her way had such drastic events not taken place. This helped reinforce the difference between Cedillo then and now.
An $18.5 million settlement was later reached for Cedillo and her family. A press conference was held announcing the award. Due to the national coverage of the Cedillo case, much of Evidence Video’s footage and photographs were used by major media networks across the country.