Halyna Hutchins' family file lawsuit against Alec Baldwin for Rust shooting

15 February 2022, 18:34 | Updated: 15 February 2022, 19:13

The husband of a woman killed during filming of the Western movie "Rust" has filed a wrongful death suit
The husband of a woman killed during filming of the Western movie "Rust" has filed a wrongful death suit. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

The husband of a cinematographer killed during filming of "Rust" has filed a wrongful death suit against Alec Baldwin "and others responsible for safety on set", an attorney for the family announced on Tuesday.

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Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed in October when a prop gun - which Mr Baldwin was holding - went off during filming in New Mexico.

On Tuesday, Ms Hutchins’ family filed a lawsuit blaming those "responsible for the safety on the set" for "reckless behavior and cost-cutting".

Announcing the lawsuit, Brian Panish an attorney representing Hutchins’ family, said: "[Matthew Hutchins] lost his long-term wife who was the love of his life, and his son lost a mother. It never should have happened."

The "reckless conduct and cost-cutting measures" of Baldwin and the film's producers "led to the death of Halyna Hutchins", attorney Brian Panish said.

Hutchins' lawyers went on to claim the Rust film set was unsafe, accusing Baldwin, the crew and the cast of commiting "major breaches" of safety.

Joel Souza, the director, was also wounded by the bullet after it passed through Ms Hutchins.

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A video created by the attorneys showed an animated recreation of the shooting.

Baldwin was pointing a gun at Hutchins during the set-up for the filming of a scene for the western in New Mexico on October 21 when it went off, killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza.

Baldwin has said he was pointing the gun at Hutchins at her instruction and it went off without him pulling the trigger.

The attorneys said in the video that Baldwin had turned down training for the kind of gun draw he was doing when he shot Hutchins.

It said industry standards call for using a rubber or similar prop gun during the set-up that was happening, and there was no call for a real gun.

Baldwin said he does not believe he will be criminally charged in the shooting.

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At least three other lawsuits have been filed over the shooting, but this is the first directly tied to one of the two people shot.

The film's script supervisor and its lead camera operator, both of whom were standing a few feet away when Hutchins was shot, each filed a lawsuit over the trauma they went through.

And the film's armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who was named as a defendant in those lawsuits and blamed by some for the shooting, filed her own suit saying an ammunition supplier created dangerous conditions by including live ammunition in a box that was supposed to include only dummy rounds.

During an interview after the incident, Mr Baldwin was asked by ABC News if he felt any personal responsibility or guilt.

He replied: "No. no. I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible, and I don't say that lightly.

"I don't know what happened on that set. Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn't even supposed to be on the property.

"Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can't say who that is, but I know it's not me."