Alec Baldwin and ‘Rust’ Producers Sue for Death of Halyna Hutchins

The family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was shot and killed by Alec Baldwin on the set of “Rust” last year, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against crew members and producers, including Mr. Baldwin, in New Mexico on Tuesday.

the lawsuit brought by Matthew Hutchins, the widow of Ms. Hutchins; 9-year-old son; and the personal representative of Ms Hutchins’ estate accused Mr Baldwin and the other defendants of reckless behavior and cost-cutting measures that endangered the crew, including failure to comply with basic industry standard safety controls and gun safety rules.

“Halyna Hutchins deserved to live, and the Defendants had the power to prevent her death if they held sacred their duty to protect the safety of every individual on a firearms set,” the lawsuit said, “rather than cutting corners.” about safety procedures where human life is at stake, rushing to comply with schedule and ignoring numerous complaints of security breaches.”

Ms. Hutchins, 42, was filmed on 21 October while editing the camera angles for a scene in the production where Mr. Baldwin pulls an old-fashioned pistol from his shoulder holster. Shortly before the gun went off, a bullet was fired that killed Ms. Hutchins and injured the film’s director and crew, Joel Souza. I was told it was a pistol. it contained no real ammunition and was safe to use.

The lawsuit said Mr Baldwin “recklessly shot and killed Halyna Hutchins on set”. Mr. Baldwin had said in the past that he was not responsible for her death. Mr. Baldwin said, “Someone fired a live bullet into a gun, a bullet that shouldn’t have been on the property” He said in an ABC television interview in December. “One of them is responsible and I can’t say who, but I know it wasn’t me.”

At a press conference, Mr. Hutchins’ lawyers played a video that used animation to reenact what he said on the day of the shooting, which included interviews with crew members and, at one point, comments from Mr. Baldwin’s ABC interview.

The lawsuit said the defendants should not have allowed real ammunition on set, Mr Baldwin should not point a gun at anyone, and accused the production of “aggressive cost cutting”, which he said had “endangered and compromised safety”. cast and crew.” The lawsuit alleged that the producers hired an “inexperienced” and “unskilled” armorer, and that the production members ignored previous firearm shots on set, leading to complaints of lack of safety.

Mr. Hutchins’ lawyer, Brian Panish, said at a press conference in Los Angeles: “There are a lot of criminals, but Mr. Baldwin was the one holding that gun, but he wasn’t going to die for the man who shot him. Clearly, he has a large part of the responsibility, but there are others.”

Mr. Baldwin’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last month, lawyers for the Hutchins family said they were considering when to file a lawsuit. they asked The court has appointed a representative in New Mexico for Ms. Hutchins’ estate. under New Mexico lawHalf of the proceeds from the case would go to Mr Hutchins and half to his son.

Ms. Hutchins was a rising cinematographer from Ukraine; friends and colleagues described him strongly devoted to the art of filmmaking.

It remains unclear why there were live bullets on the film set and how one of them got into the gun that Mr. Baldwin was holding. The Santa Fe sheriff’s office has been investigating this question since the fatal shooting, but authorities have made no further comment on the investigation since last month, when Mr. Baldwin handed over his cell phone to authorities.

Other lawsuits related to the attack were also filed. two crew members filed Separate lawsuits in California alleging that cost-cutting measures of production contributed to lax adherence to safety protocols and that Mr. Baldwin should have checked to see if the gun was safe. Mr. Baldwin’s lawyers and other producers behind “Rust” petitioned He wanted to dismiss one of the cases, arguing that Mr Baldwin could not have deliberately fired live bullets because the gun was said to be “cold”, meaning that it did not contain live bullets.

Mr. Baldwin denied responsibility for the shooting, saying in a television interview last year that Ms Hutchins had instructed him where to aim the gun when it was discharged. He suggested that he did not pull the trigger himself and that it may have been fired while pulling the hammer back.

The lawsuit accused him and others of not following security protocols properly. Other defendants include Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s gunsmith, whom the case accuses of being unskilled for the job; First assistant director, Dave Halls, told a researcher that he had not checked all the bullets in the gun before handing it to Mr. Baldwin; and Seth Kenney, supplier of weapons and ammunition for the film. (The defendants or their attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment.)

Defendant Baldwin said, “If the Producers and Rust Manufacturing Companies had taken adequate measures to ensure firearm safety on the Rust set, or if basic firearm safety rules were followed on the Rust set on October 21, 2021.” “Halyna Hutchins would be alive and well hugging her husband and nine-year-old son.”

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