The family of "Rust" cinematographer Halyna Hutchins announced Tuesday that they're moving forward with a wrongful death lawsuit against Alec Baldwin over her tragic shooting death in October 2021 on the film set.
The lawsuit, filed against Baldwin and the "Rust" production in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, by attorney Brian Panish was made public via a press conference. The lawyer claims that it was cost-cutting measures on set that cost Halyna's life.
According to USA Today, the Hutchins family are seeking "unspecified monetary damage" on the grounds that she was a wife and mother. "We believe it is going to be substantial, based on the loss of that relationship," Panish said.
Angenette Levy of the Law & Crime Network tweeted the presser as it was happening. She reports that Panish and his legal team are in possession of texts from "Rust" crew members about the unsafe working conditions. The lawyer for the Hutchins family further says that Baldwin ignored industry standards.
She also shared a response statement from Baldwin's attorney, Aaron Dyer.
"Everyone's hearts and thoughts remain with Halyna's family as they continue to process this unspeakable tragedy. We continue to cooperate with the authorities to determine how live ammunition arrived on the 'Rust' set in the first place."
"Any claim that Alec was reckless is entirely false. He, Halyna and the rest of the crew relied on the statement by the two professionals responsible for checking the gun that it was a 'cold gun' – meaning there is no possibility of a discharge, blank or otherwise," the statement continues. "This protocol has worked on thousands of films, with millions of discharges, as there has never before been an incident on a set where an actual bullet harmed anyone. Actors should be able to rely on armorers and prop department professionals, as well as assistant directors, rather than deciding on their own when a gun is safe to use."
The move had been in the works for several months. Back in November of last year, TMZ reported that widower Matthew Hutchins first hired the Los Angeles law firm Panish, Shea, Boyle and Ravipudi to represent both him and his son.
This also isn't the only lawsuit the actor is currently facing. Back in January, the family of a fallen Afghanistan marine filed paperwork to go after Baldwin for what they say were "defamatory" comments about Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum's sister in a debacle where a $5,000 donation went awry.
It was on Oct. 21, 2021 that the Santa Fe Sheriff's office first received a call about a mishap on the "Rust" set. While setting up for a scene in a church setting out in the desert, the prop gun the actor was holding discharged ammo that ended up fatally injuring Hutchins and also injuring director Joel Souza.
In response to these claims, Reed refuted the possibility by suggesting purposeful sabotage. Authorities in New Mexico later announced opening an investigation into the matter about a situation where the prop gun in question had an apparent history of misfiring. This on top of dissatisfaction from the film crew about their working conditions.
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