The family of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer who died on the Rust set after the prop gun Alec Baldwin was holding malfunctioned, has now filed a wrongful death lawsuit, according to The New York Times.
The complaint was filed against Baldwin, production companies involved in Rust, the film’s producers, and some of other crew members, for “reckless behavior and cost-cutting lead to the senseless tragic death of Halyna Hutchins,” as stated by attorney Brian Panish.
This news comes a month after Hutchins’ family said they were considering filing a lawsuit.
The lawsuit says, “Halyna Hutchins deserved to live, and the Defendants had the power to prevent her death if they had only held sacrosanct their duty to protect the safety of every individual on a set where firearms were present instead of cutting corners on safety procedures where human lives were at stake, rushing to stay on schedule and ignoring numerous complaints of safety violations.”
The decision to file the lawsuit was announced at a press conference in Los Angeles. Though Baldwin has repeatedly stated that he is not to blame for the accident, Panish said at the press conference that the actor is being sued because he was the one who shot Hutchins. “There are many people culpable, but Mr. Baldwin was the person holding the weapon that, but [if not] for him shooting it, she would not have died. So clearly he has a significant portion of the liability, but there are others,” noted the attorney.
The complaint explained that Baldwin is being sued because “in addition to his acts taken as a producer” he also “recklessly or willfully committed” a list of other acts. Baldwin’s additional “acts and omissions” are listed as such:
a. Chose to accept a weapon for use on the set from personnel who was not qualified to store, maintain, inspect, and handle deadly weapons; b. Chose to handle a real revolver during the line up of a scene when a dummy or stand-in prop would have been sufficient. c. Chose not to conduct or observe a visual inspection or loading of the weapon before taking possession of it or otherwise verify that the revolver did not contain any dangerous ammunition. Took intentional acts to allow the firing pin of the revolver to hit a bullet and cause the revolver to be discharged, including pulling or cocking the hammer and releasing the firing pin ;e. Pointed the gun at Halyna Hutchins and the cast and crew of Rust within a dangerous distance and without any personal protection for them; and f. Recklessly caused a deadly weapon to discharge, which is a criminal offense in the State of New Mexico.
After the attorneys involved explained the basis of the complaint, a video was shown that recreates the shooting with animation, using the information provided from interviews with the crew and Baldwin’s ABC interview. Deadline also reports that the video ended with a slate alleging Baldwin and the production team “disregarded at least 15 Industry Standards” of on-set safety. Both the video and complaint were uploaded by The Hollywood Reporter.