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'Rust': Halyna Hutchins' family files wrongful death lawsuit

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Washington | January 29, 2022 9:20:32 AM IST
Months after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot at the 'Rust' film set, her family is taking the first step toward filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

As per Variety, a Santa Fe, N.M., attorney, Kristina Martinez, filed a petition on Wednesday to be appointed as the personal representative of Hutchins' estate.

Martinez is seeking an appointment "solely for the purpose of investigating and pursuing a lawsuit under the New Mexico Wrongful Death Act in the courts of New Mexico," the filing obtained by Variety states.

For the uninformed, Halyna Hutchins was preparing for a scene in a church building at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, near Santa Fe, when actor Alec Baldwin fired a Colt .45, killing her and injuring the film's director in October.

Baldwin, for his part, has earlier stated that he did not pull the trigger and that the gun went off when he released the hammer. Santa Fe County Sheriff's investigators continue to probe how the gun came to be loaded with live ammunition instead of dummy rounds. The actor recently submitted his phone to the investigation agency for further probe in the case.

Halyna is survived by her husband, Matthew, and a 9-year-old son. They are represented by attorney Brian Panish, of Panish, Shea, Boyle, and Ravipudi in Los Angeles, as per Variety.

Under New Mexico law, the estate has three years from the time of Hutchins' death to file a wrongful death suit, the outlet has learned.

There already exist two other lawsuits in Los Angeles Superior Court which have been filed by two other 'Rust' crew members, Serge Svetnoy and Mamie Mitchell. Both were in close proximity to Baldwin when the gun went off, and Svetnoy has alleged that he was close enough to have gunpowder spray his face and etch his glasses.

Both crew members accused the producers of cutting corners and creating hazardous conditions on set.

In a response to Mitchell's suit on Monday, Baldwin and several of the producers argued that the shooting was a workplace accident and as such can only be addressed through the New Mexico workers compensation system.

According to Variety, OSHA is also investigating the incident and that the 'Rust' production had an insurance policy with a liability limit of USD 6 million. (ANI)

 
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