The family of a filmmaker killed by the accidental firing of a revolver on the set of the western
filed a complaint against actor Alec Baldwin on Tuesday, claiming “substantial” damages, his lawyers announced.
At the time of the tragedy, on October 21 on a ranch in Santa Fe (New Mexico), Alec Baldwin was handling a revolver while working on a scene with cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
She had been presented with the weapon as harmless because it was supposed to contain only dummy bullets but the shot was fired, mortally wounding the 42-year-old filmmaker.
They denounce the “dangerous behavior” of Alec Baldwin
Brian Panish, who represents the husband and son of Halyna Hutchins, notably questioned at a press conference on Tuesday the "dangerous behavior" of Alec Baldwin.
He also accused the cost-saving measures decided by the actor and the other producers of the low-budget western of having resulted in the death of Halyna Hutchins.
The lawyer quoted a list identifying according to him "at least 15 criteria" in force in the cinema industry which were ignored on the set of "Rust" by the production.
Panish believes in particular that a dummy revolver should have been used rather than an operational weapon and that there was no individual qualified to handle firearms at the time of the accident.
He finally deplored the fact that the team was not equipped with protective equipment, as is the case during the filming of certain scenes requiring the firing of blank cartridges.
Many ongoing proceedings
The complaint was filed in the state of New Mexico, where the death of Halyna Hutchins occurred.
Asked about the amount of compensation that the family was going to ask for, Brian Panish replied: “We think it will be substantial”.
This complaint is in addition to many other civil proceedings already initiated in recent months by members of the film crew.
In November, the lighting chief Serge Svetnoy had filed a complaint for "negligence" against the actor, the production and the gunsmith of the shooting, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.
The latter herself filed a complaint last month against the man who had provided the ammunition used on the set, accusing him of having left live ammunition among the dummy cartridges.
Investigation still ongoing
A criminal investigation is still ongoing.
In particular, the police are looking to find out how live ammunition could have been found on the set, which is in theory strictly prohibited.
No arrests have been made to date in this case, but criminal proceedings are not excluded in the event that responsibilities are established, the services of the Santa Fe prosecutor pointed out shortly after the tragedy.
In an interview with ABC, Alec Baldwin said he felt neither guilty nor even "responsible" for the death of Halyna Hutchins, assuring that she had asked him to point his revolver at her, supposed to be completely inert.
Fatal shooting of Alec Baldwin: The actor gives his phone to the police
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