Star Wars firm fined £1.6m over Harrison Ford injury

A production company behind the latest Star Wars movie has been fined £1.6m ($2m) after Harrison Ford broke his leg on set.

The actor was injured in June 2014 at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire as he reprised his role as Han Solo.

He was struck by a metal door on the set of the Millennium Falcon spaceship.

Foodles Production (UK) Ltd, owned by Disney, pleaded guilty earlier this year to two charges brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

In a statement, Foodles said it “deeply regretted” what it described as an “unfortunate on-set accident”.

Star Wars: The Force AwakensImage copyrightDISNEY/LUCASFILM
Image captionStar Wars: The Force Awakens saw Harrison Ford reprise the role of Han Solo after more than 30 years

Following the incident during the filming of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ford was airlifted to hospital for surgery.

The door that struck the Hollywood superstar had been designed to mimic the action of the spaceship on the original set.

‘Lack of communication’

At a previous hearing, Aylesbury Crown Court was told the actor, now aged 74, could have been killed.

Pinewood StudiosImage copyrightPA
Image captionA hydraulic metal door hit Ford at Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire

The HSE said the power of the rapidly-closing door meant Ford was hit with a force comparable to the weight of a small car.

Judge Francis Sheridan said the firm had failed to communicate its risk assessment to the actor.

He said: “The greatest failing of all on behalf of the company is a lack of communication, a lack because, if you have a risk assessment and you do not communicate it, what is the point of having one?

“That is the most serious breach here.

“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.”

Foodles Production (UK) Ltd said in its statement that the “safety of our cast and crew was always a top priority”.

It added: “The court acknowledged both the additional safety protocols that were immediately implemented, and that it was a very safe production in all other respects.”harrison-ford

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