Three “Rust” crew members sued Alec Baldwin and the film’s producers on Monday, alleging they suffered symptoms of insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety stemming from the fatal shooting of the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, according to a lawsuit obtained by ET.
The three crew members claim they were in the church building during filming, when Baldwin’s gun went off, striking Hutchins and director Joel Souza. Baldwin, who denied pulling the trigger, has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter after the gun he was holding discharged, killing Hutchins and wounding director Souza on the Western film set in New Mexico.
Last week, Baldwin formally entered a not-guilty plea to the manslaughter charge. According to court docs, obtained by ET, the 64-year-old actor waived his right to appear before First Judicial District Court Judge Mary Sommer in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, and have his rights explained to him by the judge. Baldwin instead opted to enter his plea through his attorney, Luke Nikas.
According to the new lawsuit, plaintiffs Doran Curtin, the set costumer, Reese Price, the key grip, and Ross Addiego, the dolly operator, claim they were all in close proximity to Baldwin when the gun went off and suffered “blast injuries” from the “deafening” sound.
The suit claims Curtain watched as Hutchins fell to the ground in front of her.
“She watched in shock as Hutchins grabbed at her abdomen,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff Curtin put her hands on Hutchins’ stomach, trying to find the source of Hutchins’ pain and figure out what was going on. As the chaos continued, Plaintiff Curtin was ushered out of the church. Once outside, she collapsed from the effects of the blast and the shock of the shooting.”
The filing from Albuquerque’s Virgil Law Firm also claims, “These injuries were caused by Defendants’ failure to follow industry safety rules. Defendants cut corners; ignored reports of multiple, unscripted firearms discharges; and persisted, rushed and understaffed, to finish the film.”
The suit also faults the producers for hiring armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed despite her lack of experience, because they allegedly wanted a “quick and cheap production.”
The lawsuit faults Baldwin for not paying attention during weapons training, failing to ensure that the gun was not loaded with a live bullet, and discharging the round.
Halls has agreed to plead no contest to a misdemeanor count of discharging a dangerous weapon. Gutierrez Reed, like Baldwin, is facing a charge of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.
The new lawsuit comes five months after Baldwin and Halyna’s estate reached a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit against the actor. As part of the settlement, “Rust” would resume filming, with Halyna’s husband, Matthew Hutchins, joining the production as an executive producer.
“Rust” was originally set to resume filming in January, but is now slated to restart sometime this spring. Bianca Cline, who worked on “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On”, will take over as cinematographer and donate her salary to charity in honour of Hutchins.
It was also announced that a documentary will be made about the completion of the film and about Hutchins’ life and work. The documentary has the “full support” of the production and her widower, Matthew, who will also serve as an EP on the project. “Circus of Books” director Rachel Mason will direct the documentary with Julee Metz producing.
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