Family of ‘Rust’ Cinematographer Sues Baldwin and Other Producers
The parents and sister of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer who was fatally shot on the “Rust” film set, filed a lawsuit on Thursday against Alec Baldwin and other producers and crew members, accusing them of negligent behavior and lax attention to safety.
Ms. Hutchins’s husband, Matthew Hutchins, agreed last year to settle his own wrongful death lawsuit against the “Rust” producers, including Mr. Baldwin, for an undisclosed sum.
In their lawsuit, Ms. Hutchins’s Ukrainian family — her parents, Olga Solovey and Anatolii Androsovych, and her sister, Svetlana Zemko — say they “have suffered substantial and foreseeable compensable loss of consortium damages, including, without limitation, extreme and severe emotional distress.”
The claim was filed against a long list of defendants who were involved in “Rust,” including Mr. Baldwin, who was holding the gun on the New Mexico set when it discharged, and the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was in charge of guns and ammunition. Both were charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Representatives for Mr. Baldwin and Ms. Gutierrez-Reed declined to comment. The production company behind “Rust” did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
As part of the settlement of Mr. Hutchins’s lawsuit, he has become an executive producer on a revived production of the film, which is scheduled to resume filming this year. Gloria Allred, a lawyer representing Ms. Hutchins’s parents and sister, said in a news conference on Thursday that they were not involved in the settlement.
The newest lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles, but the lawyers are seeking to apply New Mexico law, which — unlike California law — allows for close relations other than a spouse to bring this type of personal injury claim, said John Carpenter, another lawyer representing the family.
At the news conference, lawyers said the family’s lives had been greatly affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began months after Ms. Hutchins’s death. Ms. Allred said that Ms. Solovey is an emergency nurse and that she and her daughter live near Kyiv.
Ms. Hutchins died on Oct. 21, 2021, when the film crew was setting up a tight shot of Mr. Baldwin drawing an old-fashioned revolver. The gun went off, killing Ms. Hutchins and wounding Joel Souza, the movie’s director.
The tragedy prompted several lawsuits, including from crew members who claimed that the set did not follow proper safety protocols. That assertion is at the heart of the prosecutors’ case against Mr. Baldwin and Ms. Gutierrez-Reed, whose lawyers have both said they would be exonerated. Mr. Baldwin has said he was told the gun was “cold,” meaning it did not contain live rounds, and a lawyer for Ms. Gutierrez-Reed has said she was vigilant as an armorer.
Ms. Hutchins’s parents and sister have made limited public comments about the shooting. But according to an interview with the British tabloid The Sun published two days after she was killed, Mr. Androsovych said, “I don’t hold Alec Baldwin responsible — it is the responsibility of the props people who handle the guns.”