Three 'Rust' crew members sue Alec Baldwin and makers over fatal on-set shooting caused by 'dangerous cost-cutting'
BONANZA CITY, NEW MEXICO: Alec Baldwin and the other producers of the low-budget western movie 'Rust' have been sued by three more members of the film crew, who claim that their "dangerous cost-cutting" and reckless actions contributed to the fatal disaster that still haunts them. In a recent lawsuit, three crew members who claim to have been there when Alec Baldwin shot Halyna Hutchins contend that the incident was a catastrophe waiting to happen. Ross Addiego, Doran Curtin, and Reese Price, who claim to have worked as the 'Rust' dolly operator, set customer, and key grip, respectively, are suing Baldwin and the entire 'Rust' production on the grounds that they were three of the seven persons present on the church set the day the shooting took place.
In the documents, which TMZ received, the plaintiffs claim that several safety precautions were disregarded throughout the whole filming, which they claim led up to the death of Hutchins and which they claim shook them to their very core both emotionally and physically.
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Crew members Addiego, Curtin, and Price filed the case on February 24, 2023, in state court in Santa Fe, New Mexico, alleging negligence and deliberate emotional distress. It adds to the tangle of civil action resulting from the shooting on October 21, 2021, that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins by naming Baldwin, his El Dorado Pictures company, and Rust Movie Productions LLC.
The three crew members hold the producers primarily responsible for their use of "operable firearms" on 17 of the 21 scheduled filming days despite having the option to employ rubber prop guns, replicas, or special effects instead. Additionally, they list several allegedly unsafe set practices, including failing to thoroughly investigate earlier unintentional releases that they claim happened before that fateful day. The crew members also claim that the hiring of armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed despite the fact that they claim she "lacked essential experience" was a mistake made by Baldwin and others.
Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed are accused of two counts of the irresponsible use of a deadly weapon and involuntary manslaughter, as reported by Los Angeles Times. Additionally, the lawsuit claims assistant director Dave Halls neglected to follow safety procedures. They claim that despite this, Baldwin continued to follow them, which ultimately resulted in Hutchins' death in 2021.
Baldwin entered a not-guilty plea last week. Gutierrez Reed, who has admitted to loading the gun that day, will shortly enter a not-guilty plea, according to her lawyer. Furthermore, Halls came to terms with the prosecution to enter a plea of not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless use of a deadly weapon in return for a suspended six-month term of unsupervised probation.
What happened to Halyna Hutchins on October 2021?
The October 2021 incident took place in a church at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico when Baldwin's gun was fired, with the bullet hitting Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
According to the lawsuit, the "strained" start to the deadly day came after seven out of the eight camera crew members left their jobs due to complaints about the alleged disregard for safety and a shortage of nearby accommodations. Following lunch, Baldwin, Hutchins, Souza, and Halls crowded into the tiny wooden church with the three crew members.
The lawsuit claimed, "With his right hand, Defendant Baldwin repeatedly drew the revolver across his body from the left shoulder holster and pointed it in the direction of the crew members standing in front of him, including plaintiffs. On his third draw, Defendant Baldwin cocked the hammer of the revolver with the trigger pulled and fired it towards the crew striking Hutchins, and injuring Plaintiffs."
Although Baldwin has denied firing the trigger, he is being accused of unintentional killing for firing the gun while it was pointing at Hutchins.