The lighting chief on the film set where Alec Baldwin killed Rust, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, is suing Baldwin and others for “severe emotional distress” caused by the fatal episode.
Serge Svetnoy, the plaintiff, argues that Baldwin’s gunshot nearly struck him and that holding the bleeding Hutchins and trying to keep her conscious by giving her last words of encouragement caused him emotional trauma that will haunt him forever, according to TMZ Nov. 10.
The lawsuit says Baldwin: “owed a duty to the Plaintiff and other crew members and actors on the ‘Rust’ set to handle the Colt Revolver provided to him by defendant Halls with reasonable care and diligence for the safety of ‘Rust’ cast and crew.'”
He adds, “This duty called for Defendant Baldwin to double-check the Colt Revolver with Halls upon being handled to ensure that it did not contain live ammunition.”
In short, Svetnoy accuses Baldwin of negligence, given that he was obligated “to handle the Colt Revolver as if it was loaded and to refrain from pointing it at anyone.”
Even more serious for Baldwin may be the fact that the scene did not require him to pull the trigger, but merely to draw the pistol and point it in the general direction of the camera.
Additionally, Svetnoy’s attorneys allege that Baldwin was negligent as a producer on “Rust,” because the insufficient budget he allocated for filming resulted in several irregularities during the shoot.
Among the failures were violation of industry standards, rejection of requests for weapons training, insufficient time to allow for shooting, absence of safety bulletins and dispersal of personnel.
Svetnoy is demanding damages and a jury trial. Halyna Hutchins, 42, was his close friend.
The lawsuit is not limited to Baldwin, but to nearly two dozen other crew members, including Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was in charge of the guns on the set, and David Halls, the assistant director who handed the gun to Baldwin.
In the confusing events, Gutierrez-Reed was the one who provided the gun fired by Baldwin. It was checked by Halls, who told Baldwin, 63, that it was a “cold gun,” i.e., with blanks, with which he nevertheless killed Hutchins.
On the other hand, Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers argue that she is being set up, that the shooting on Alec Baldwin’s set was sabotage, and that “the scene was staged before the police arrived,” according to the Daily Mail.
In this regard, prosecutor Mary Carmack-Altwies expressed to Good Morning America that she knows who loaded the gun and that investigators found more live bullets on the set, but could not specify how many because the investigation was ongoing.
“We still don’t know how they got on the set and how they got there I think will be one of the most important factors going into a charging decision,” Atlwies stated.