An extra in the cancelled Batgirl movie is suing the filmmakers claiming she “almost died” following an incident on the Glasgow set.
Cristina Stanovici said she was left with life changing injuries after being struck by a motorbike carrying a camera during the filming of an action sequence at around 3am on March 4, 2022.
The 35-year-old was rushed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary where she underwent emergency surgery on her leg and required five blood transfusions.
Ms Stanovici claims the safety advice issued by the production amounted to “watch out for the bike”.
Her lawyers say it’s a monumental safety failing by American Night Productions, the parent company of which is Warner Brothers.
Ms Stanovici is suing them for loss of income and recovery costs.
She told STV News: “I was hired as a background extra in Batgirl, the role being pedestrian. I was supposed to film for five nights, but in the third night the accident happened.
“We were filming a scene were I was supposed to step onto the pavement, turn towards the street and we were instructed by the production assistants to have a big reaction to the fire truck in flames passing on the street.
“A motorcycle with cameras on top of it was supposed to pass behind me.
“It is still unclear if I moved or the bike lost control. Either way, given that their safety measures were basically ‘watch out for the bike’, I believe they are 100% at fault.
“They shouldn’t have put untrained, tired, frozen people in such close proximity with a speeding vehicle, especially knowing from a previous near miss on that same day that a thing like this can happen.
“I was left with a broken femur, broken thumb, broken pubic bone, broken tibial plateau and multiple hip fractures. I had to go through femur surgery which took around five hours and five blood transfusions.
“I deteriorated badly during surgery because of the massive blood loss. I lost almost half my blood volume and died.
“After three days in ICU I had surgery on my tibial plateau. This year I had another surgery to remove the plate in the tibia because it was giving me pain.”
The DC movie, which was filmed entirely in Glasgow, was shelved in August 2022 following poor test screening results.
Ms Stanovici has said she has been left with life changing injuries.
She said: “I don’t think I’ll be the same again. I’m in pain constantly.
“I still have muscle weakness and the range of motion in the hip isn’t fully back. I don’t think I will ever get it back.”
Ms Stanovici is attempting to take the production company behind Batgirl, American Night Productions, a subsidiary of Warner Brothers, to court.
However, the 35-year-old struggled to find representation in the wake of the accident.
Fearing she was going to have to represent herself, Cristina got in touch with her fellow background extras – who agreed to provide testimony – leading to Thompsons Solicitors agreeing to represent her in court.
She said: “While I was in the hospital I was hanging on for dear life so I wasn’t bothered to think about compensation and lawyers.
“Some firms even suggested that I represent myself in court, and I really thought that it would come to that.
“My stress was at the highest point at this time. It felt unreal that a thing like this could happen and be ignored.
“I felt like nobody wanted to give me a hand, I felt alone and miserable.
“I figured out a way to get in touch with some of the background extras that were there when the accident happened.
“Having their testimony is an invaluable thing, which in the end, led to my collaboration with Thompsons.”
Ms Stanovici’s lawyer, Joel Shaw, a partner with Thompsons Solicitors, said: “This appears to be a monumental failing on the part of the production company, American Night Productions Limited who are subsidiaries of Warner Media.
“A film set is a controlled environment where everything should be carefully planned and prepared. It goes without saying that accidents like this should never happen.
“For there to have been an accident during filming such as there was here suggests that there has been a failure to adequately assess the risks and implement a safe system for everyone involved.
“My client was simply an untrained extra, excited to be involved in the filming of a Hollywood movie. She was entirely in the hands of the production crew and trusted that they had the experience and knowledge to ensure that a safe system was in place.
“What was being filmed was a high-speed car chase with pyrotechnics down a Glasgow city centre street. Where the risks are potentially life threatening as they were here, it is not enough to give a basic health and safety briefing and simply hope for the best.”
STV News approached Warner Bros but the company declined to comment.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the government agency responsible for the enforcement of workplace regulations in the UK.
A spokesperson told STV News that the incident involving Ms Stanovici was reported to HSE but it was not investigated because it did not meet its “Incident Selection Criteria”.
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