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Alec Baldwin, ‘Rust’ Producers Reportedly Sued For Negligence Over Shooting


Alec Baldwin and Rust producers and crew members who handled the gun used to shoot and kill cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and hurt director Joel Souza have been sued for negligence by the production’s chief of lighting, Rolling Stone reported, the first legal action taken related to the shooting.

Key Facts

Serge Svetnoy filed suit in Los Angeles against Baldwin, who was both an actor and producer for Rust, assistant director Dave Halls, who according to police affidavits handed Baldwin the gun and told him it was safe to use, armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and the movie’s other producers for punitive and other damages.

Svetnoy was “close personal friends” with Hutchins, and he held her “in his arms as she lay dying on the movie set,” his lawyers said, according to Rolling Stone

The lighting chief was on the set when Baldwin shot the gun, and the bullet “narrowly missed him,” the suit reportedly claims, causing him “severe emotional distress.”

The shooting “was caused by the negligent acts and omissions of defendants,” the suit reportedly said.

Halls, Gutierrez-Reed and Baldwin have not yet responded to Forbes’ request for comment.


Hutchins’ widower, Matthew Hutchins, hired a law firm that specializes in wrongful death suits last week, a representative for the firm confirmed to Forbes.

What To Watch For

Criminal charges could take months to be filed, Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said Wednesday. She’s waiting for the sheriff’s office to complete their investigation. Over half of the about 100 Rust crew members have been interviewed and Gutierrez-Reed will be undergoing a second interview with detectives, she said.

Key Background

Svetnoy has maintained that on-set negligence was directly responsible for the shooting, and in the week after the shooting he wrote a scathing Facebook post highlighting the actions of those he sued Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports. Baldwin, who has not yet commented on the suit, recently shared a social media post from someone who claimed to work on Rust that pushed back at reports that producers created a poor work environment on set.

Further Reading

More Live Bullets Found On ‘Rust’ Set —But No Evidence Of ‘Sabotage,’ Santa Fe DA Says (Forbes) 

Alec Baldwin Says Police Should Be Present On Sets Using Guns (Forbes) 

Alec Baldwin Shares Social Media Post Defending ‘Rust’ Producers Against Allegations Of Mistreatment (Forbes)

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