courtesy of takungpao.com
Johnnie To Kei Fung yesterday headed to Korea for the Pusan Film Festival. His production company Milky Way Image recently lost a lawsuit and had to compensate a stunt professionals 700,000, legal and court costs. He said that he questioned the verdict. Ah To expressed that the film was shot in 2003. The professional performed a stunt for an Indian extra but broke his arm. The company compensated over 100,000 per Departure of Labor. Yet years later he filed a civil lawsuit and claimed that after the injury he was unemployed and his sex life was out of order. He asked for another 5 million and won the case. This time went from the civil lawsuit to the superior court.
Ah To also pointed out that before the accident padding was placed but the plaintiff asked for it to be removed. Both sides were responsible for the accident but he felt the verdict was very unfair. With this case as a precedence, film production companies will be harder to operate. In the Hong Kong film industry only employees can buy insurance. Extras and doubles are not covered, which is a loophole in the industry. If an accident was already fully compensated but a compensation was still asked for, in the future the labor side may be able to file a lawsuit by simply citing negligence on the part of the employer and true justice may not prevail.
Ah To expressed that this time he spent 6 million on the lawsuit and over 900,000 on compensation and "vomit" the company's earning over a decade all at once. From now on he truly had no idea how small industry will survive. Ah To said, "Actually I can stop operating the film production company and focus on directing. I can also open a company that can close its door at any second so I don't have to make any compensation if anything happens; but Milky Way Image has been my heart and blood for over ten years." Will he appeal? Ah To said, "I will talk with the lawyer again, but of course this verdict indeed has quite an influence on the Hong Kong film industry future. I never went to Hollywood to make a movie and insisted on staying in Hong Kong because I want to protect the Hong Kong film culture." He reminded colleagues that for any injury issue they should immediately handle it legally and asked the film development council to pay attention to insurance and contract issues. Because when extras or doubles cannot be insured, it is also unfair to employees. As for Nick Cheung Ka Fai's BEAST STALKER Golden Horse Best Actor nomination, Ah To joked that Ka Fai was very lucky because the film still qualified despite its early release. He joked about Ka Fai's chances, "If his acting is poor I wouldn't approach him for my movies. He isn't handsome so he only relies on his acting. This is a good opportunity."