Alec Baldwin sued by three Rust crew members over death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

28 February 2023, 09:50

Alec Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter
Alec Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Picture: Alamy/Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Alec Baldwin is being sued by three members of staff who were working on the set of the movie Rust when cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed.

The three crew members claim they suffered from anxiety and post-traumatic stress order in the aftermath of Ms Hutchins' death in October 2021.

Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed after Baldwin allegedly fired a loaded prop gun, an incident that also wounded the film's director Joel Souza.

Jacob G Vigil, a lawyer for the three, said: "Production of the gun-heavy western film required an experienced firearms expert and safety-minded leadership."Rust had neither.

"Instead, producers contracted an inexperienced armorer and set leaders with histories of safety violations.

"The multiple complaints from crew members about dangerous set conditions including firearms discharges, lack of rehearsals, and denial of dedicated armorer days, were ignored while cast and crew were allowed to handle firearms without proper training.

"Several crew members resigned from the film in response to leadership's inaction."

Alec Baldwin has said he will continue working on the set of Rust despite facing involuntary manslaughter charges
Alec Baldwin has said he will continue working on the set of Rust despite facing involuntary manslaughter charges. Picture: Getty

Read More: Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in fatal Rust film set shooting

Multiple lawsuits have been filed over the incident, including one from Ms Hutchins's widower Matthew, her parents and her sister.

Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter and his lawyer previously said the actor would fight the "unjust" charges against him.

If found guilty, Baldwin faces a maximum of 18 months behind bars. He must not drink alcohol or possess firearms under the terms set by the judge.

Ms Hutchins' family previously welcomed the charges by saying the Hollywood actor had showed "disregard for human life".

Halyna Hutchins
Halyna Hutchins. Picture: Getty

Hannah Reed Gutierrez, the film’s armorer, was also charged with involuntary manslaughter. Both face two counts of the charge and Baldwin pledged to fight the charges and win.

"This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins's tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice," Baldwin's lawyer said.

"Mr Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds.

"We will fight these charges, and we will win."

Read More: 'We'll fight and win': Alec Baldwin lawyer says actor will fight involuntary manslaughter charge over Rust shooting

Special prosecutor Andrea Reeb said previously: "If any one of these three people, Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed or David Halls, had done their job, Halyna Hutchins would be alive today. It's that simple.

"The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the Rust film set.

"In New Mexico, there is no room for film sets that don't take our state's commitment to gun safety and public safety seriously."

Ms Hutchins was shot on the Rust set in Santa Fe county, New Mexico
Ms Hutchins was shot on the Rust set in Santa Fe county, New Mexico. Picture: Getty

The assistant director on Rust, David Halls, has agreed to plead guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon.

After the criminal charges were announced earlier this month, Baldwin expressed his intention to remain as the main actor in Rust.

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