NBC Chicago recently reported on a settlement in one of the more high-profile Chicago brain injury cases in our area. The wildly popular movie “Transformers 3” was filmed in and near Chicago in 2010. One scene was being filmed in Hammond, Indiana. As part of the scene dozens of extras were driving around in their own cars on a closed portion of a city street. Unfortunately, tragedy struck during the filming.
A stunt car was being pulled by cables. The car was traveling in the opposite direction as the car driven by one of the extras. During the filming, one of the cables snapped. The loose cable then struck the extra’s car, crashing through the windshield and hitting the driver’s head. She obviously lost control of her vehicle at that point and her car crashed in the roadway medium.
The victim’s injuries were life-threatening. She had to be airlifted to a local hospital and then underwent surgery for the head injury. The report explains that the woman’s brain injury was permanent. She essentially “lost about a third of the top of her head.” She required multiple surgeries and is now partially blind and partially paralyzed. As one would expect, she racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills as a result of the accident.
Each Chicago brain injury lawyer at our firm understands that, sadly, many of the individuals responsible for these sorts of accidents fail to properly take care of the victims of their negligence. In this case, the businesses making the movie failed to provide support to the woman or her family. She was eventually forced to go onto Public Aid to survive. The attorney explained that the companies “did everything they could to avoid payment.” This was after the company said that they would cover her medical bills.
Fortunately, an Illinois brain injury lawsuit was filed. The case was recently settled for $18.5 million. The money will be used to provide the care that she will need for the rest of her life. She is currently undergoing extensive therapy at a local rehabilitation center. Her woman’s family is hopeful about her long-term prospects, but they understand the immense challenges that remain. They explained that as her rehabilitation progresses they are holding out hope that she will be able to pursue her education and otherwise live as normal as life as possible.
In working on the case, information came out which showed that the movie studios were clearly negligent in allowing the injury to occur. In particular, the welding used in the strung was “completely inadequate” and “superficial” according to those working on the case. As a result, the bracket for the cable was improperly secured on the stunt car, setting the stage for the tragic accident.
Making matters worse, in the investigation following the accident it became clear that the companies may have been lax in other safety requirements-failing to have a permit for fireworks or explosive devices used as part of the filming. When companies are negligent in one regard they are often negligent in many other ways. Safety is often not a priority, with tragic consequences.
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