The Aylesbury Crown Court in Buckinghamshire, southern England, has ordered a Disney-owned company to pay $6.2 million for an act of carelessness which endangered Harrison Ford’s life in 2014.
Image: Harrison Ford
The court judgement comes after a prolonged investigation by Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Andrew Marshall [the prosecutor] said in court: “The door was ‘like a blunt-edged guillotine’
“Mr Ford suffered fractures to his fibula and fractures to his tibula and he had a dislocated ankle.
“The risk was serious, it was significant and it was dangerous. The force (from the door) was capable of being massive.”
The Aylesbury Crown Court in Buckinghamshire, southern England, blames Foodles Production (UK) Ltd for the disaster, adding that the London-based Walt Disney company committed a serious breach of health and safety laws.
Ford, 71 at the time, was part of the crew which featured in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He suffered a broken leg, after he was trapped by a fast moving hydraulic door at Pinewood Studios, near London.
Director J.J. Abrams has described the accident as “a blessing in disguise”.
“The greatest failing of all on behalf of the company is a lack of communication,” Judge Francis Sheridan said. “A lack because, if you have a risk assessment and you do not communicate it, what is the point of having one?”
Ford was airlifted to a hospital in Oxford after the life-threatening accident. He featured in the movie as Hans Solo, the most loved character in Star Wars.
Reports confirm the movie production was halted for a few weeks after his surgery so he could recuperate.
According to Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a state agency that enforces workplace safety regulations, “the power of the door’s drive system was comparable to the weight of a small car”.
“This was a foreseeable incident,” a spokesman for the HSE said in a statement at that time.
“Managing on-set risks in a sensible and proportionate way for all actors and staff regardless of their celebrity status is vital to protecting both on-screen and off-screen talent, as well as protecting the reputation of the industry.”