Alec Baldwin Sues ‘Rust’ Crew For Negligence; Actor Wants “To Clear His Name” After Fatal Set Shooting, Says Incident Cost Him Roles

Just days before the Santa Fe District Attorney is expected to announced her intentions in the fatal shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins by Alec Baldwin last year, the actor today has slammed crew members of the indie Western with a negligence lawsuit.

“This tragedy happened because live bullets were delivered to the set and loaded into the gun, Gutierrez-Reed failed to check the bullets or the gun carefully, Halls failed to check the gun carefully and yet announced the gun was safe before handing it to Baldwin, and Zachry failed to disclose that Gutierrez-Reed had been acting recklessly off set and was a safety risk to those around her,” says the cross complaint from Baldwin’s Quinn Emanuel attorney Luke Nikas (read it here).

Filed on a day when Los Angeles Superior Court is closed for the Veterans Day holiday, the cross-complaint for negligence and indemnification names Rust  armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, first assistant director David Halls, propmaster  Sarah Zachry, and weapons and rounds supplier Seth Kenney and his company as defendants. Recently having settled a wrongful death suit with Hutchins’ husband and family and intending to get Rust back on track, Baldwin has long declared that he never pulled the trigger on the 1880s period gun that he was pointing at the cinematographer on October 21, 2021.

In a move that risks backfiring on the now plaintiff, today’s filing makes a point of noting how the aftermath of the shooting has impacted Baldwin’s career.

“Baldwin has also lost numerous job opportunities and associated income,” it says “For example, he’s been fired from multiple jobs expressly because of the incident on Rust and has been passed over for other opportunities, which is a direct result of the negligence of Cross-Defendants Gutierrez-Reed, Halls, Kenney, PDQ, and Zachry.” 

Coming just over a week after Baldwin failed to convince a LASC judge to remove him from Rust script supervisor Mamie Mitchell’s own negligence lawsuit or see the matter dismissed, Friday’s filing also claims the Emmy winning has suffered personal consequences from the horrible October 2021 incident. “More than anyone else on that set, Baldwin has been wrongfully viewed as the perpetrator of this tragedy,” the actor’s lawyer writes of his client who held the gun that killed DoP Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. “By these Cross-Claims, Baldwin seeks to clear his name and hold Cross-Defendants accountable for their misconduct.”

‘There can be no doubt that others have suffered from Cross-Defendants’ negligence far more than Baldwin has,” the suit goes on to say of that day at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, just outside Santa Fe New Mexico. “Hutchins lost her life, and her young child lost his mother,” the jury trial cross-complaint states. “Producer Joel Souza was shot in the shoulder and has suffered physical and emotional pain. Though by no means comparable, Baldwin must live with the immense grief, and the resulting emotional, physical, and financial toll, caused by the fact that Cross-Defendants’ negligent conduct, assurances, and supervision put a loaded weapon in his hand and led him, Hutchins, and everyone else on set to believe that his directed use of the weapon was safe.”

Reps for the cross-complaint defendants did not return request for comment from Deadline on today’s filing in LASC. However, Gloria Allred certainly had something to say for her client Mitchell about Friday’s filing by Baldwin and his legal team.

In one of several legal actions currently in the courts over the shooting, Rust script supervisor Mitchell first filed her lawsuit back on November 17, 2021. Gloria Allred-represented Mitchell was standing right near Hutchins and Souza when the gun Baldwin was holding fired. On November 1, Judge Michael E. Whitaker not only refused Baldwin’s effort to exit the suit, but also denied a motion from Baldwin and his El Dorado Pictures Inc to strike the script supervisor’s claim for punitive damages.

Santa Fe DA Mary Carmack-Altwies finally received the final Sheriff’s Office report on the Rust shooting on October 27. “The District Attorney and her team of investigators and prosecutors will now begin a thorough review of the information and evidence to make a thoughtful, timely decision about whether to bring charges,” her office said at the time, weeks after seeking greater funding from the state for a possible prosecution on the matter. “As with all cases that the District Attorney handles, her focus will be on upholding the integrity of the process, enforcing the laws of the state of New Mexico, and pursuing justice.”

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