On November 11, 2022, Alec Baldwin filed a negligence lawsuit against the crew members for handing him a loaded gun that resulted in the death of the cinematographer. Let’s explore the details of the suit with Ehline Law and our civil wrongful death attorneys.
Even though Matthew Hutchins, husband of Halyna Hutchins, settled the wrongful death lawsuit with the crew earlier this year, the District Attorney has the responsibility to ensure justice according to New Mexico law if there is criminal negligence involved.
The Santa Fe District Attorney received an investigations report pertaining to the fatal shooting of the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on October 21, 202, to decide whether to proceed with criminal charges against the actor Alec Baldwin and the crew members.
Alec Baldwin filed a negligence lawsuit against Rust’s crew members just a few days before the District Attorney’s announcement on whether she would pursue a criminal case.
According to the lawsuit filed by Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas, a civil litigator at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, the defendants include the following:
The lawsuit alleges that someone delivered live bullets to the set and loaded them into the gun. The armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, was responsible for inspecting the gun carefully before handing it over to the actor, but Gutierrez Reed failed to carry out her responsibilities.
The complaint mentions that the property master, Sarah Zachry, failed to disclose that the armorer was reckless offset, becoming a safety risk to the Rust’s crew members.
Since the fatal shooting, Baldwin maintained that he never pulled the trigger on the gun pointed at Halyna Hutchins that day. The lawsuit explains how Baldwin lost several job opportunities, which affected his income following the incident.
The lawsuit came a few days after the actor could not convince the Los Angeles Superior Court judge to dismiss the matter or remove him from the lawsuit filed by the movie’s script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell.
On November 1, 2022, Judge Michael E. Whitaker denied Baldwin’s request to exit the lawsuit and the motion to strike punitive damages mentioned in Mitchell’s suit.
Mamie’s negligence lawsuit, filed on November 17, 2021, claims that she suffered severe consequences from the incident that unfolded on set in October 2021.
Mitchell’s lawsuit was the first of many legal actions filed by others in the court. She was next to Hutchins and Joel Souza when the gun fired, killing the cinematographer and injuring the producer.
Although many legal experts believe that the legal action filed by Baldwin may backfire, Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas mentioned in the lawsuit that many are wrongfully viewing Baldwin as the perpetrator of the incident, drastically affecting his career. Nikas stated that the lawsuit aims to clear the actor’s name and hold the cross-defendants responsible for their negligence.
Baldwin’s lawsuit claims that even though that day on Bonanza Creek Ranch, Hutchins lost her life and the producer Joel Souza suffered shoulder injuries, Baldwin has to live with the grief and the emotional, physical, and financial toll that followed, all because of the cross-defendant’s negligence when they handed a loaded gun in his hand.
The facade of supervision and assurances on the set led everyone, including Alec Baldwin, to believe that the weapon was safe when it wasn’t.
Although the cross-complaint does not mention Mitchell as the defendant, her attorney, Gloria Allred, an American attorney known for taking high-profile and often controversial cases, had something to say about it.
Allred criticized Baldwin’s lawsuit, stating that it was a shameful attempt by the actor to shift the blame and claim that everyone on set was acting recklessly while he was innocent.
Allred made some serious comments about Mr. Baldwin, calling him out to take responsibility for his actions. She stated that others might also bear some responsibility, but the actor himself bears the most responsibility for the tragedy in New Mexico.
Alec Baldwin suing the Rust crew means that the actor and his attorneys must prove the elements of negligence by providing evidence.
If his legal team can prove that the armorer did not inspect the gun carefully or the crew members were negligent, which resulted in the incident, it could clear his name.
However, other lawsuits are going on parallel to this, which means his legal team must also defend those if he’s looking to clear his name.
If you lost a loved one in an accident due to another’s negligence, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation, as you may be eligible for compensation, but you may waive it by sleeping on your rights. The call and consultation are cost and risk-free! Do it today!
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.