A Disney-owned production company has been fined £1.6 million (almost $2 million) for breaching safety regulations after Harrison Ford broke his leg on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A British court levied the fine on Wednesday against Foodles Production Ltd., after the company had previously admitted two health and safety breaches — oversights that resulted in Ford being struck by a hydraulic door that fractured the tibia and fibula bones in his left leg, pinned him to the floor by his pelvis, and left a deep cut in his hand.
The door closed with the weight of a small car
Ford had thought the door was not live as he walked underneath it during a dress rehearsal, prosecutor Andrew Marshall told the court, as it had not been activated during earlier rehearsals. On this occasion, however, a spotter signaled Ford’s position to an operator who closed the door, causing it to come down on Ford with the weight of a small car, “milimeters from his face.” The injury, which took place in June 2014, halted production on the movie for two weeks.
“The greatest failing of all on behalf of the company is a lack of communication,” Judge Francis Sheridan said of the case. “If only they had included Mr Ford in all the discussions, he might have at least been alert to the dangers that he had to avoid,” he said. Ford was at least able to make light of the accident a few months after his injuries healed, comparing the advanced technology on the Force Awakens set with the basic props he had to make do with in the original trilogy on ITV’s Jonathan Ross Show. “In the original film, the door would have been closed with a pulley,” Ford told the host. “Now we had lots of money and technology and so they built a fucking great hydraulic door which closed at light speed.”