Alec Baldwin, ‘Rust’ Producers Sued For Negligence Over Shooting


Alec Baldwin and Rust producers and crew members who handled the gun with which Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza have been sued for negligence by the production’s chief of lighting, the first legal action taken related to the shooting.

Key Facts

Serge Svetnoy filed a civil suit in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking damages from Baldwin, who is a producer and star of the movie; assistant director Dave Halls, who according to police affidavits handed Baldwin the gun and told him it was safe to use; armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed; and crew members and the producers and production companies involved in the movie, according to a copy of the suit which was published by Deadline.

Svetnoy was “close personal friends” with Hutchins, and he held her “in his arms as she lay dying on the movie set,” his lawyers said.

Svetnoy was on the set when Baldwin shot the gun, and the bullet “narrowly missed him,” the suit claims, causing him “severe emotional distress.”

The shooting “was caused by the negligent acts and omissions of defendants,” the suit said.

Halls, Gutierrez-Reed and Baldwin have not yet responded to Forbes’ request for comment.


Hutchins’ widower, Matthew Hutchins, hired a law firm that specializes in wrongful death suits last week, a representative for the firm confirmed to Forbes.

What To Watch For

Criminal charges could take months to be filed, Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said Wednesday. She’s waiting for the sheriff’s office to complete its investigation. Over half of the roughly 100 Rust crew members have been interviewed and Gutierrez-Reed will undergo a second interview with detectives, she said.

Key Background

In the week after the shooting Svetnoy wrote a scathing Facebook post claiming that negligence of those he sued Wednesday was the cause of the fatal accident, the Los Angeles Times reports. Baldwin, who has not yet commented on the suit, recently shared a social media post from someone who claimed to work on Rust that pushed back at reports that producers created a poor work environment on set. 

Further Reading

More Live Bullets Found On ‘Rust’ Set —But No Evidence Of ‘Sabotage,’ Santa Fe DA Says (Forbes) 

Alec Baldwin Says Police Should Be Present On Sets Using Guns (Forbes) 

Alec Baldwin Shares Social Media Post Defending ‘Rust’ Producers Against Allegations Of Mistreatment (Forbes)

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