Baldwin sues ‘Rust’ armorer and other crew in new complaint

Actor Alec Baldwin is suing the gunsmith, arms supplier, first assistant director and prop man behind the film “Rust” for negligence after he accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The actor filed the filing as a counterclaim in the ongoing case filed by screenwriter Mamie Mitchell, who is suing Baldwin for assault, willful infliction of emotional distress and negligence in connection with Hutchins’ death on the New Mexico set of the western last October.

Baldwin and his attorney relied on text messages, FBI analysis and other pieces of the investigation into the shooting to contend that the crew members and supplier were negligent in using the guns and ammunition, putting the actor at risk.

“These counter-defendants are professionals who owed those on set, including Baldwin, a duty to keep the set safe,” Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, wrote in his lawsuit. “Everyone on the set, including Baldwin, expected and trusted that. Baldwin is trying to clear his name and hold the counter-defendants accountable for their wrongdoing.”

Jason Bowles, attorney for “Rust” gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez Reed, said he is reviewing the complaint, which was filed in New York and first reported by the New York Times.

Attorneys for assistant director Dave Halls, gun supplier Seth Kenney and props master Sarah Zachry did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

The lawsuit is the latest in a web of civil lawsuits that have emerged in the wake of the fatal shooting. The defendants and Baldwin have faced lawsuits in both Los Angeles and New Mexico.

Earlier this month, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael E. Whitaker ruled that Mitchell, the screenwriter, could proceed with her lawsuit. She had been standing near Hutchins when a bullet from Baldwin’s gun struck and killed cinematographer and injured director Joel Souza.

Baldwin’s allegations include Gutierrez Reed drinking and using marijuana off set, citing text messages to and from Zachry. “Zachry only raised these concerns after the fatal shooting,” Baldwin’s attorney wrote in the complaint.

Baldwin claimed Zachry knew that the gunsmith “misplaces and mixes things up,” but did not share her concerns with production. Additionally, he cited text messages to Zachry alleging that Gutierrez Reed took the prop guns to a shooting range where “she loaded them with live ammunition and did target practice,” according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, Baldwin also alleged that the film’s gun supplier Seth Kenney and his company PDQ stored ammunition without proper labeling, segregation, or organization. “Her reckless disregard for the proper distinction between live and dummy ammunition was one of the factors that led to the presence of live ammunition on set rust‘ said Nikas in the file. Nikas cited an FBI analysis that claimed the gun given to Baldwin during filming was in poor condition.

The actor claimed Halls was supposed to hold safety briefings every day where guns were used on set, but didn’t, citing interviews with the New Mexico Occupational Safety Bureau.

In this case, no criminal charges were filed. Local prosecutor Mary Carmack-Altwies has indicated she can file charges against up to four people, including Baldwin.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2022-11-11/baldwin-sues-rust-armorer-weapons-supplier-assistant-director-and-prop-master-in-new-complaint Baldwin sues ‘Rust’ armorer and other crew in new complaint

Sarah Ridley

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