Hollywood actor launches £200,000 legal battle with London firm

Hollywood actor launches £200,000 legal battle with London production firm over claims ‘co-star left him brain damaged after fight scene’ in Sir John Hurt’s 2017 thriller Damascus Cover

  • Herzl Tobey, 45, says he suffered a serious head injury while staging a fight
  • He was filming in Morocco and Israel for thriller Damascus Cover in 2015 
  • He says he suffered a ‘moderate traumatic brain injury’ causing dizziness
  • Mr Tobey wants more that £200,000 in damages from Cover Film Ltd 
  • The company is disputing the claims in court 

Herzl Tobey, 45, says he suffered a serious head injury after another actor ‘applied considerable force’ while the pair were staging a ‘fight sequence’ during filming in Morocco and Israel for award-winning political thriller Damascus Cover in 2015

A movie actor who says he was brain-damaged by a co-star during a fight scene is suing a London production company for over £200,000 in compensation.

Herzl Tobey, 45, says he suffered a serious head injury after another actor ‘applied considerable force’ while the pair were staging a ‘fight sequence’ during filming in Morocco and Israel for award-winning political thriller Damascus Cover in 2015.

The film, which featured Sir John Hurt’s last on-screen appearance before his death in 2017, also starred Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Mr Tobey, who has appeared in TV shows ’24’ and The Shield – as well as the movie You Don’t Mess with the Zohan – claims his injury has impacted on his long-established acting career.

He suffered a ‘moderate traumatic brain injury’, leaving him with dizziness, motion intolerance, tinnitus, problems coping with sudden movements and reduced balance, he says.

His injuries even create problems for the actor when playing with his children, he claims.

Now Mr Tobey wants more than £200,000 damages from Islington-based production company, Cover Film Ltd. The company is disputing the claims in court

Damascus Cover, which premiered in September 2017, is an espionage thriller set in the Middle East, in which Sir John took the part of a Mossad spy chief.

Damascus Cover, which premiered in September 2017, is an espionage thriller set in the Middle East, in which Sir John took the part of a Mossad spy chief

The film also stars Olivia Thirlby, with Mr Tobey, who trained and studied in London and now lives in Israel, playing a character named Ehud. Pictured, Jonathan Rhys Meyers who played Ari Ben-Sion

He died in January 2017 and the film was dedicated to his memory.

Shot on location in Morocco and Israel the film tells the story of an agent sent into Syria to smuggle out a chemical weapons scientist.

The film also stars Olivia Thirlby, with Mr Tobey, who trained and studied in London and now lives in Israel, playing a character named Ehud.

Ella Davies, for Mr Tobey, told Central London County Court the actor suffers from vertigo and the effects of a brain injury due to the fight sequence gone wrong.

And although Mr Tobey is back at work, his future career could suffer due to the film set accident, she said.

His memory and mood have also been affected, Judge David Saunders was told at a pre-trial hearing this week.

The case, however, remains hotly disputed.

Lawyers for the film company are questioning the nature of the brain injury Mr Tobey sustained, pointing out that no loss of consciousness was recorded at the time of his accident.

A CT scan also failed to pick up any ‘abnormalities’, the court heard.

‘These symptoms should be assessed by an expert in this field,’ the actor’s lawyer told the judge

Highlighting a doctor’s report on his condition, Miss Davies added: ‘There’s likely to be an effect because acting requires a degree of emotional insight, control and memory, all features which have to some extent been affected by this injury.’

The court heard the precise dynamics of his accident will be a key focus of the case.

‘There’s going to be some discussion about the way this fight sequence was choreographed, that must be an important aspect of the case,’ he said.

The case is now set to return for a full trial next year. 

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