At the time of the tragedy, on October 21 on a ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Alec Baldwin was handling a revolver while working a scene with cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
She had been presented with the weapon as harmless, as it was supposed to contain only dummy bullets, but the shot went off, fatally wounding the 42-year-old filmmaker.
Brian Panish, who represents the husband and son of Halyna Hutchins, notably questioned during a press conference on Tuesday the
dangerous behavior by Alec Baldwin.
He also accused the cost-saving measures decided by the actor and the other producers of the low-budget western of having resulted in the death of Halyna Hutchins.
The lawyer quoted a list identifying according to himcriteria”,”text”:”at least 15criteria”}}’>at least 15 criteria prevailing in the film industry who were ignored on the set of Rust by production.
Mr. Panish believes in particular that a dummy revolver should have been used rather than an operational weapon and that there was no individual qualified to handle firearms at the time of the accident.
He finally deplored the fact that the team was not equipped with protective equipment, as is the case during the filming of certain scenes requiring the firing of blank cartridges.
The lawsuit was filed in the state of New Mexico, where Halyna Hutchins’ death occurred. Asked how much compensation the family would seek, Brian Panish said:
we think it’s going to be substantial.
Other ongoing proceedings
This complaint is in addition to many other civil proceedings already initiated in recent months by members of the film crew.
In November, lighting chief Serge Svetnoy filed a complaint for
negligence against actor, production and shooting armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.
The latter herself filed a complaint last month against the man who had provided the ammunition used on the set, accusing him of having left live ammunition among the dummy cartridges.
A criminal investigation is still ongoing.
In particular, the police are looking to find out how live ammunition could have been found on the set, which is in theory strictly prohibited.
No arrests have been made to date in this case, but criminal proceedings are not excluded in the event that responsibilities are established, the services of the Santa Fe prosecutor pointed out shortly after the tragedy.
In an interview with ABC, Alec Baldwin said he felt neither guilty nor even
responsible of the death of Halyna Hutchins, ensuring that she had asked him to point his revolver at her, supposed to be completely inert.