‘Rust’ script supervisor sues Alec Baldwin and producers

The script supervisor on ‘Rust,’ who was the first to call 911 after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on the movie’s set, has sued actor Alec Baldwin and the film’s producers for assault, saying they intentionally ignored safety protocols that would have prevented the tragedy.

Mamie Mitchell, who was standing close to Hutchins when a bullet from Baldwin’s gun struck her, is the latest member of the ‘Rust’ crew to take legal action against the film’s production company, Rust Movie Productions LLC, for the 21 October tragedy in New Mexico.

The allegations in the suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, include assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and deliberate infliction of harm.

“Every safety protocol designed to ensure that firearms would be safely used were ignored, and actions that were taken were against all industry norms,” Mitchell’s lawyers alleged in the complaint.

The suit said Baldwin “intentionally, without cause or excuse, cocked and fired the loaded gun even though the upcoming scene to be filmed did not call for the cocking and firing of a firearm.”

WATCH: Hollywood mourns ex-investigative journalist Halyna Hutchins shot by Alec Baldwin

Mitchell is represented by attorney Gloria Allred.

The new legal action comes after Serge Svetnoy, the chief lighting technician on ‘Rust,’ earlier this month filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles that alleged negligence on the part of the film’s producers – including Baldwin – in Hutchins’ death. Svetnoy, who was the chief electrician or gaffer, held Hutchins in his arms as she lay dying on the movie set.

Matthew Hutchins, husband of the late ‘Rust’ cinematographer, has enlisted the law firm of Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi.

Santa Fe County Sheriff’s detectives are still investigating key details of the shooting, including how live ammunition got onto the movie set – a major violation of film production safety protocols – and how at least one lead bullet got into the revolver used by Baldwin. No criminal charges have been filed.

Deputies seized more than 500 rounds of ammunition from the set of ‘Rust,’ a low-budget period film set in 1880s Kansas. Additional rounds were found inside the revolver that Baldwin fired, Sheriff Adan Mendoza said last month.

Mitchell’s suit said that Baldwin should have checked the gun that was handed to him to make sure that it was safe to use, even after the assistant director, Dave Halls, allegedly handed him the weapon and declared it a “cold gun,” meaning it was safe.

“Baldwin should have assumed that the gun in question was loaded unless or until it was demonstrated to him or checked by him that it was not loaded,” the complaint said. “Mr Baldwin cannot hide behind the assistant director to attempt to excuse that fact that he did not check the gun himself.”

The suit names as defendants the production company Rust Movie Productions LLC, as well as multiple individual producers of the film and other production companies, including Thomasville Pictures and 3rd Shift Media. Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armourer on ‘Rust’ who was in charge of weaponry, and Halls were also named as defendants.

“[Baldwin’s] behaviour and that of the producers on ‘Rust’ were intentional acts and/or omissions, without any just cause or excuse and with utter disregard of the consequences of said acts and/or omissions,” the suit said.

Representatives for the production companies and Baldwin did not immediately respond to the suit.

Baldwin has previously said he is “fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred.”

The ’30 Rock’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’ star added: “My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”

Attorneys for Gutierrez Reed have suggested foul play and that the set was sabotaged.

The Times has previously reported that there were two accidental weapon discharges on 16 October – just days before the fatal shooting.

(Los Angeles Times)

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