Lawsuit settled, film may resume after Alec Baldwin shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The family of a cinematographer who was shot and killed by Alec Baldwin on the set of the film “Rust” has agreed to sue the actor and filmmaker to make The filmmakers aim to restart the project in January, despite unresolved workplace safety sanctions.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins’ widow Matthew Hutchins and the plaintiffs in the lawsuit and their 9-year-old son Andros. “As part of this settlement, our case will be dismissed. Filming of Rust, which I will now executive produce, will resume in January 2023 with all the original main cast.”

The deal is rare good news for Baldwin, who has endured a tumultuous year since October. 21 shootings. The actor, who is also a producer on the film, pointed a gun at Hutchins when the gunshots went off, killing her and wounding director Joel Sousa. They had been in a chapel while preparing to shoot the scene.

He announced the settlement in an Instagram post.

“During this difficult time, everyone has maintained a specific desire to do what is best for Halina’s son,” Baldwin said in the post. “We thank all those who have contributed to resolving this tragic and painful situation.”

Baldwin said the gun misfired accidentally and he didn’t pull the trigger. But a recent FBI forensic report found that the weapon could not be fired unless the trigger was pulled.

The New Mexico State Medical Investigator’s Office determined the shooting was an accident after completing an autopsy and reviewing law enforcement reports.

“I have no interest in finger-pointing or finger-pointing (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” Matthew Hutchins said in the statement. “We all agree that Halina’s death was a horrific accident. I am grateful to the producers and the entertainment community for coming together to pay tribute to Halina’s final work.”

Rust Movie Productions continues to question the basis of the $137,000 fine imposed on the company by New Mexico’s occupational safety regulator, saying the studio’s production manager failed to follow standard industry protocols for gun safety.

The state Occupational Health and Safety Review Board has scheduled an eight-day hearing on the disputed sanctions starting April 12, 2023. It’s unclear whether filming of “Rust” will resume until workplace sanctions are resolved.

“We’re not describing it as uncooperative,” said Matthew Maez, a spokesman for the Department of Environment, which enforces occupational safety regulations. “They are going through this process because they have the right to do so. … They have not paid the fine or accepted the conclusion.”

In April, the New Mexico Department of Occupational Health and Safety imposed its maximum fine on Rust Movie Productions and released a scathing account of safety failures, including evidence that production managers took limited or no action to address two blank ammunition misfires prior to the fatal incident. Testimony Shot.

Rust Movie Productions told safety regulators that the fire that preceded the Hutchins fatal shooting did not violate safety protocols and that “appropriate corrective action was taken,” including briefings to cast and crew.

Other legal issues related to the film and the fatal shooting remain.

There are at least four other lawsuits brought by the crew, and the state of New Mexico has allocated funds to pay for possible criminal charges.

Baldwin is also the defendant in an unrelated defamation lawsuit brought by the family of a Marine killed in Afghanistan.

The Hutchins family lawsuit, filed in February, harshly criticized Baldwin, the filmmakers and other defendants: unit production manager Kathryn Walters, assistant director David Halls, armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed and Ammunition Supplier Seth Kenny.

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Brian Panish, told a news conference that their “reckless conduct and cost-cutting measures resulted in the death of Halina Hutchins.”

According to the lawsuit, proper protocols were followed, “Halyna Hutchins will live well and embrace her husband and 9-year-old son.”

The suit alleges that industry standards require the use of rubber or similar prop guns during set-up, and that there is no requirement to use real guns.

It also said that both Baldwin and Halls, who handed him the gun, should have checked the revolver for live ammunition.

Associated Press writer Morgan Lee is from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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