ENTERTAINMENT

Lawsuit settled, filming of “Rust” may resume after Alec Baldwin shooting

Oct 5, 2022, 3:00 PM
A new trove of information revealed about the shooting on the 'Rust' movie set shows Alec Baldwin q...
FILE - This Oct. 23, 2021 photo, shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., where actor Alec Baldwin pulled the trigger on a prop gun while filming “Rust” and unwittingly killed a cinematographer and injured a director. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The family of a cinematographer shot and killed by Alec Baldwin on the set of the film “Rust” has agreed to settle a lawsuit against the actor and the movie’s producers, and producers aim to restart the project in January despite unresolved workplace safety sanctions.

“We have reached a settlement, subject to court approval, for our wrongful death case against the producers of Rust including Alec Baldwin,” said a statement Wednesday from Matthew Hutchins, widow of the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and a plaintiff in the lawsuit along with their 9-year-old son Andros. “As part of that settlement, our case will be dismissed. The filming of Rust, which I will now executive produce, will resume with all the original principal players on board, in January 2023.”

Fatal mistake on movie set was live ammo, says Utah gun expert

The agreement is a rare piece of positive news for Baldwin, who has had a turbulent year since the Oct. 21 shooting. The actor, who was also a producer on the film, was pointing a gun at Hutchins when it went off, killing her and wounding the director, Joel Souza. They had been inside a small church during setup for filming a scene.

He announced the settlement agreement in an Instagram post.

“Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son,” Baldwin said in the post. “We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation.”

Baldwin has said the gun went off accidentally and that he did not pull the trigger. But a recent FBI forensic report found the weapon could not not have fired unless the trigger was pulled.

New Mexico’s Office of the Medical Investigator determined the shooting was an accident following the completion of an autopsy and a review of law enforcement reports.

“I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” Matthew Hutchins said in the statement. “All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”

Rust Movie Productions continues to challenge the basis of a $137,000 fine against the company by New Mexico occupational safety regulators who say production managers on the set failed to follow standard industry protocols for firearms safety.

The state Occupational Health and Safety Review Commission has scheduled an eight-day hearing on the disputed sanctions, starting April 12, 2023. It was not immediately clear whether filming of “Rust” can resume before workplace sanctions are resolved.

“We’re not characterizing this as uncooperative,” said Matthew Maez, spokesman for the Environment Department that enforces occupation safety regulations. “They’re going through the process as they have a right to. … They have not paid the fine or accepted the conclusions.”

In April, New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau imposed the maximum fine against Rust Movie Productions and distributed a scathing narrative of safety failures, including testimony that production managers took limited or no action to address two misfires of blank ammunition on set prior to the fatal shooting.

Rust Movie Productions told safety regulators that misfires prior to the fatal shooting of Hutchins did not violate safety protocols and that “appropriate corrective actions were taken,” including briefings of cast and crew.

Other legal troubles persist in relation to the film and the deadly shooting.

At least four other lawsuits brought by crew members remain, and the state of New Mexico has granted funds to pay for possible criminal prosecutions.

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

The Hutchins family lawsuit, filed in February, was harshly critical of Baldwin, the film’s producers, and the other defendants: unit production manager Katherine Walters, assistant director David Halls, armorer Hannah Guttierez Reed, and ammunition supplier Seth Kenney.

Their “reckless conduct and cost-cutting measures led to the death of Halyna Hutchins,” plaintiffs’ attorney Brian Panish said at a news conference.

According to the lawsuit, had proper protocols been followed, “Halyna Hutchins would be alive and well, hugging her husband and 9-year-old son.”

The lawsuit said industry standards call for using a rubber or similar prop gun during the setup, and there was no call for a real gun.

It also said that both Baldwin and Halls, who handed him the gun, should have checked the revolver for live bullets.
___
Associated Press writer Morgan Lee contributed from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton

Today’s Top Stories

Entertainment

Man who shot Lady Gaga's dog walker...
Taylor Romine and Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN

Man involved in shooting Lady Gaga’s dog walker sentenced to prison

The dog walker, Ryan Fischer, was walking Lady Gaga's three French bulldogs on February 24, 2021 when he was accosted and shot.
17 hours ago
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03:  Actress Kirstie Alley attends the "Kirstie" premiere party at Harlow o...
Dan Heching, Amy Simonson and Taylor Romine, CNN

Kirstie Alley, ‘Cheers’ and ‘Veronica’s Closet’ star, dead at 71

Actress Kirstie Alley has died after a brief battle with cancer, her children announced on social media.
2 days ago
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 10: Sesame Street cast member and film subject Bob McGrath attends a ...
Dan Heching and Chris Boyette, CNN

Bob McGrath, original ‘Sesame Street’ cast member, dead at 90

Bob McGrath, an original cast member of "Sesame Street," has died, according to statements from his family and Sesame Workshop.
2 days ago
NBA Ice Buckets...
Devin Oldroyd

NBA fans invited to show “ice in their veins” at NBA Ice Buckets challenge

The NBA and Utah Jazz invite you to play NBA Ice Buckets, a free-to-play indoor basketball shooting challenge at Trolley Square.
5 days ago
Ballet West "Nutcracker" battle scene....
Waverly Golden

Ballet West continues longstanding tradition, The Nutcracker

Until Dec. 24, Ballet West will be showing performances of The Nutcracker at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City.
5 days ago
video game...
Elizabeth Weiler

BYU students win international award for video game

SALT LAKE CITY — Students apart of the animation program at BYU received international recognition from the Rookie Awards for developing and producing a video game. Additionally, the “Highly Commended” also helped BYU earn the global ranking of fifth top video game design school.  The interactive computer game in question is titled Liminus: The Silent Guard, it […]
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Lawsuit settled, filming of “Rust” may resume after Alec Baldwin shooting