Alec Baldwin sued by family of killed 'Rust' film cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

'Reckless conduct and cost-cutting measures' of actor and film’s producers 'led to the death of Halyna Hutchins', lawyers say

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The family of the cinematographer who was shot and killed on the set of the film Rust is suing actor Alec Baldwin and the movie’s producers for wrongful death, their lawyers said.

Lawyers for the family of Halyna Hutchins announced the lawsuit filed in New Mexico in the name of Hutchins’s husband, Matthew, and their son, Andros, at a Los Angeles news conference on Tuesday.

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 “reckless conduct and cost-cutting measures” of Baldwin and the film’s producers “led to the death of Halyna Hutchins”, lawyer Brian Panish said.

A video created by the lawyers 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.

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

The lawyers 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.

Last month, about three months after the shooting, Baldwin turned over his mobile phone to authorities in his home state of New York.

They gathered information from the phone and provided it to Santa Fe County investigators, who had obtained a warrant for it.

Investigators have described “some complacency” in how weapons were handled on the Rust set. They have said it is too soon to determine whether charges will be filed.

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

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

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

In an interview with ABC News in December, Baldwin said he felt incredible sadness over the shooting, but not guilt.

“Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but it’s not me,” Baldwin said.

He said Hutchins had asked him to point the gun a little off camera and towards her armpit before it went off.

“I didn’t pull the trigger,” Baldwin said. “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never.”

He called Hutchins “somebody who was loved by everybody and admired by everybody who worked with her”.

Hutchins grew up on a remote Soviet military base and worked on documentary films in Eastern Europe before studying film in Los Angeles and embarking on a promising filmmaking career.

Updated: February 16, 2022, 5:01 AM
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