Family of Slain Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins Sues Alec Baldwin and “Rust” Producers

Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer who was shot and killed last year on the set of “Rust,” in an undated photo. | Credit…Swen Studios/Via Reuters

The family of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer fatally shot by Alec Baldwin on the set of the movie “Rust” last year, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit on Tuesday in New Mexico against crew members and producers, including Mr. Baldwin.

The suit, filed by Ms. Hutchins’s widower, Matthew Hutchins; her 9-year-old son; and the personal representative of Ms. Hutchins’s estate, accused Mr. Baldwin and the other defendants of reckless conduct and cost-cutting measures that endangered the crew, including failing to follow basic industry standard safety checks and gun safety rules.

“Halyna Hutchins deserved to live, and the Defendants had the power to prevent her death if they had only held sacrosanct their duty to protect the safety of every individual on a set where firearms were present,” the lawsuit said, “instead of cutting corners on safety procedures where human lives were at stake, rushing to stay on schedule and ignoring numerous complaints of safety violations.”

Ms. Hutchins, 42, was shot on Oct. 21 while the production was lining up camera angles for a scene in which Mr. Baldwin draws an old-fashioned revolver from a shoulder holster. Shortly before the gun went off, discharging a bullet that killed Ms. Hutchins and injured Joel Souza, the film’s director, the crew had been told that the revolver did not contain live ammunition and was safe to handle.

The lawsuit said Mr. Baldwin “recklessly shot and killed Halyna Hutchins on the set.” Mr. Baldwin has said in the past that he was not to blame for her death. “Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property,” Mr. Baldwin said in an ABC television interview in December. “Someone is ​responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.”

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SOURCE: The New York Times, Julia Jacobs and Graham Bowley