'Rust' Gaffer Sues Producers, Alec Baldwin After Halyna Hutchins Death
The chief of lighting on Rust has filed a negligence lawsuit against the film’s producers — including Alec Baldwin — as well as the assistant director and armorer at the center of the investigation into the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Serge Svetnoy, who was “close personal friends” with Hutchins, held the cinematographer “in his arms as she lay dying on the movie set,” his lawyers said in a statement.
While Svetnoy wasn’t physically injured when Baldwin fired the prop gun with live ammo — “the fatal bullet narrowly missed” him — he is suing the producers, armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, and assistant director David Halls for punitive and other damages.
“The bullet was shot from a .45 Colt revolver being wielded by defendant Baldwin while rehearsing a scene for the film Rust. Discharge materials from this blast struck plaintiff directly,” the lawsuit obtained by Rolling Stone states. “The bullet narrowly missed him before striking the film’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and its director Joel Souza. Plaintiff suffered injury, including severe emotional distress, as a direct and proximate result of this incident,” it claims.
“This incident was caused by the negligent acts and omissions of defendants,” the paperwork states. “Simply put, there was no reason for a live bullet to be placed in that .45 Colt revolver or to be present anywhere on the Rust set, and the presence of a bullet in that revolver posed a lethal threat to everyone in its vicinity.”
Svetnoy is due to speak with his lawyer at a press conference later Wednesday and address the alleged dangerous conditions on the set of Rust leading up to Hutchins’ death.
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