- By Katie Nkrumah
Harrison Ford injury results in criminal charges against Star Wars
The production company behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens is being criminally prosecuted over the incident in which Harrison Ford broke his leg.
Ford was struck in the leg by a hydraulic metal door on the Pinewood set of the Millennium Falcon in June 2014. The Health And Safety Executive (HSE) has brought four criminal charges against Foodles Production (UK) Ltd, a subsidiary of Disney.
Foodles Production said it was “disappointed” by the HSE’s decision.
The incident lead to Ford requiring an airlift to hospital for surgery.
Following an official investigation, the HSE said it believed there was sufficient evidence about the incident which left Ford with serious injuries, to bring four charges relating to alleged health and safety breaches.
A HSE spokesperson commented: “By law, employers must take reasonable steps to protect workers, this is as true on a film set as a factory floor.”
Foodles Production is the company ultimately responsible for producing Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, and as such is culpable under health and safety law.
Representatives of the production company will appear at High Wycombe Magistrates Court on 12 May 2016.
A spokesman for Foodles Production said: “Cast and crew safety is always a top priority. We provided full co-operation during HSE’s investigation into the on-set accident that occurred in June 2014 and are disappointed in HSE’s decision.”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was filmed at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, UK. The eagerly anticipated movie is the most successful film ever at the UK box office and has taken more than $2bn USD worldwide.
Production of Star Wars: Episode VIII has already got under way at Pinewood, and is due for release in December 2017.
It has been a difficult time recently for cinematic production in the UK and their run-ins with the HSE. Chanel 4’s ‘The Jump’ may also find itself on the wrong side of criminal proceedings following significant injury to several celebrities during production. (Read more…)
In the UK the law means that you can face two sets of legal proceedings should a member of staff or public be injured by your company, it’s premises or produce. You may be sued in a civil litigation whilst also facing criminal charges and lengthy prison sentences. The UK has some of the longest sentences in the world with one of the highest miss-conviction rates, coupled with some of the most dangerous and over-crowed prisons in the developed world, many large companies try and keep production out of the UK at all costs.