An $18.5 million dollar settlement was reached after a horrific accident involving a young woman who was hired as an extra in the Paramount motion picture “Transformers 3.”
The 26-year-old woman 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 production company, she suffered severe 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 was unclear.
After the accident, her family retained attorneys Todd Smith and Brian LaCien of the then law firm Powers, 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 the woman’s life had forever changed.
Evidence Video videotaped her slow recovery and was on hand when she 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 her therapy. This is designed to help with future mediation.
The video also depicted how the life of her loved ones had forever been changed. At this point she needs attendant 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 the plaintiff’s family, friends and colleagues, to help explain the nature of her injuries and the impact on her quality of life. The film helped tell the story of how her life could have been had the accident never occurred, and what success may have come her way had her injuries never happened. This reinforced the differences between the plaintiff before and after her injuries.
An $18.5 million settlement was later reached for the plaintiff and her family. A press conference was held announcing the award. Due to the national coverage of the case, much of Evidence Video’s footage and photographs were used by major media networks across the country.