Attorneys for the family of Halyna Hutchins, the 42-year-old cinematographer who was shot and killed by Alec Baldwin on the set of the independent film “Rust,” announced a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin and the film’s producers in a press conference on Tuesday.
Other defendants named in the lawsuit filed in Santa Fe County include the production’s assistant director Dave Halls, who handed Baldwin the firearm that shot Hutchins, and the production’s prop master, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.
The lawsuit has long been expected since Hutchins’ husband hired the law firm Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi LLP, which specializes in wrongful death lawsuits, this past November. One of the firm’s partners, Bryan Panish, is serving as lead lawyer on the case after securing a $2.2 billion settlement for victims of California wildfires and mudslides last year.
Halyna Hutchins was killed on the set of “Rust” on October 21 when a gun held by Alec Baldwin discharged and fired a live, “lead projectile” that killed the cinematographer and injured the film’s director, Joel Souza. The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department is still continuing its investigation into the incident.
At a press conference, Panish said that his firm investigated the film set and interviewed crew members who witnessed the incident, using the testimony and evidence found to create an animated re-enactment of the shooting that also included clips from Baldwin’s interview with George Stephanopoulos.
Panish recounted complaints from “Rust” crew members that came to light in the days following the shooting, most notably emails and text exchanges from camera assistant Lane Luper complaining about lapses in firearm safety and previous accidental discharges during filming.
The Hutchins lawsuit is not the only one that has been filed over the “Rust” shooting. The production’s main medic Cheryln Schaefer filed a suit last week against the film’s producers as well as assistant director Dave Halls, prop master Sarah Zachry, armorer Hannah Gutierrez and firearm supplier Seth Kenney claiming lost wages and emotional trauma. The film’s script supervisor has also filed a lawsuit against Baldwin and the producers, whose attorneys have filed a request for dismissal.