Alec Baldwin dodges ‘Rust’ charges, but lawsuits keep piling up

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After New Mexico prosecutors dropped charges against Alec Baldwin for fatally shooting cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the western film set “Rust”, Hutchins’ family announced that they plan to continue pressing ahead with their civil suit against the actor.

Lawyer Gloria Allred, who’s representing Hutchins’ family - Mother Olga Solovey, father Anatolii Androsovych and sister Svetlana Zemko – who all live in Ukraine, said her clients are still hopeful. In a statement to Insider, Allred said “Mr. Baldwin may pretend that he is not responsible for pulling the trigger and ejecting a live bullet which ended Halyna’s life.”

Baldwin was holding the prop gun during a rehearsal on set that fired the bullet killing Hutchins and director Joel Souza, who suffered a non-life-threatening injury, in October 2021.

“He can run to Montana and pretend that he is just an actor in a wild west movie but, in real life, he cannot escape from the fact that he had a major role in a tragedy which had real life consequences for Halyna, her mother, father, sister, and co-worker,” Allred said to Insider.

“Rust” resumed filming at Yellowstone Film Ranch in Montana with its original producers, cast and Baldwin returning to production.

The actor’s lawyers recently addressed the lawsuit as “misguided” stating that the family has been significantly distanced from Halyna for many years “before her death”.

“We look forward to seeing Alec Baldwin in court where a jury will decide if Alec Baldwin is just a movie star or a defendant who should be held accountable for the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins,” said Allred.

The actor also faces another lawsuit filed from three crew members who claimed to be standing close to Baldwin when the prop gun was fired. The suit said they suffered “blast injuries” when the gun was discharged and are seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

“Rust” Movie Productions paid over $130,000 for firearms safety failures fine to New Mexico after the state’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau found “a scathing narrative of safety failures in violation of standard industry protocols,” according to NPR.

Those include ignored gun safety complaints by crew members and the lack of accountability to address two misfires on set prior to Hutchins’ shooting.

Weapons specialists also said that they weren’t allowed to make decisions on additional safety training.

New Mexico’s bureau chief for occupational safety, Bob Genoway, explained that their investigators’ findings “was a set of obvious hazards to employees regarding the use of firearms and management’s failure to act upon those obvious hazards,” to the Associated Press in 2022.

An L.A. Times report also found that hours before Hutchins was fatally shot, half a dozen camera crew workers walked off set to protest frustrating working conditions that encompassed “long hours, long commutes, and waiting for paychecks.”

Crew members were originally promised hotel accommodation during film production. But after filming started, members were told to make the 50-mile commute from Albuquerque to the film set each day, rather than staying in a nearby hotel. This caused some to worry about accidents on the road after a 12-to-13-hour workday on set.

Naina Rao

Naina Rao

Naina Rao is Reckon's daily news reporter. She formerly worked at NPR producing for Morning Edition and the Culture Desk, and has experience covering Religion, Arts & Culture, and international news. Naina is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia, proficient in Malay, and is working on her Hindi.

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