On Tuesday, Halyna Hutchins , the family of "Rust", cinematographer, filed a lawsuit against Alec Baldwin (and others) involved in the film. They claim that her reckless behavior and cut-throat work led to her death.
Hutchins was killed and shot in the chest on Oct 21 as he was preparing for a scene at Bonanza Creek Ranch. N.M. Baldwin was the star of the film, but he stated that he didn't pull the trigger. Hutchins was hit in the torso and the bullet lodged in Joel Souza's shoulder. Hutchins died after being airlifted from Albuquerque to a local hospital.
Matthew Hutchins and their 9-year-old son Aldous were left behind by her husband.
Brian Panish, who represented Hutchins' estate at the press conference that announced the suit, said, "He lost his long term wife, who was the love and life of his life, as well as his son who lost a mother." It never should have happened."
Randi McGinn in Albuquerque was the estate's lawyer. She said that she expected the case to go to trial in one and a half to two year. This is a relatively quick turnaround.
McGinn stated that "we're used to people who come in from out-of-town to play cowboy but don't know how guns work." McGinn stated, "You shouldn't give someone a gun without giving them safety training... Nobody should ever die with an actual gun on a movie set."
The suit also names Baldwin as a defendant. Ryan Smith, Allen Cheney and Nathan Klingher are named as the producers.
Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office is investigating the matter and focusing on how the live round got onto the set. According to search warrants, Reed Gutierrez, an armorer, loaded the Colt.45 with what she thought were dummy round. The gun was then given to Halls, the assistant director. She declared that it was a cold gun and handed it to Baldwin.
Mamie Mitchell (the script supervisor), Serge Svetnoy (the gaffer), and Cherlyn Schaefer (the key medic) are the other crew members who have filed suit. Reed Gutierrez also sued Kenney for providing ammunition to the set. He claimed that he mixed live ammunition with dummy ammunition. A liability policy was in place for the production, with a limit of $6,000,000.
The producers, Baldwin included, argued against Mitchell's suit. It involves an workplace accident and should be dealt with through the state workers compensation system.