While New Mexico law allows 3 years in which to file a wrongful death lawsuit, Matthew Hutchins, the late husband of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, has already started the filing process for a wrongful death lawsuit against Alec Baldwin. In October, Baldwin accidentally killed Hutchins on the set of his movie Rust in New Mexico.
According to the petition filed on January 26, 2022, in Santa Fe, the attorney chosen for the lawsuit will be investigating “a lawsuit under the New Mexico Wrongful Death Act.” Lawyer Kristina Martinez was chosen to represent Hutchins’ estate. Both Matthew and Aldous Hutchins (the couple’s minor child) support the petition. Matthew will be represented by LA-based lawyer Brian Panish.
The accidental shooting happened on October 21, 2021. Baldwin was preparing a scene for Rust near a wooden church on the Bonanza Creek Ranch, the set of the movie.
During a recent interview with George Stephanopoulos, Baldwin said he didn’t fire the shot that killed Hutchins. Baldwin claims that he pulled back the hammer on the Colt .45 while the gun was pointed in Hutchins’ direction. He recalls releasing the hammer before the gun was fully cocked. Moreover, Baldwin stated that the firearm was loaded with blank rounds, also known as the gun being “cold” or only loaded with dummy bullets.
In addition to the lawsuit filed against Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer for the production, has also filed a lawsuit. Gutierrez-Reed filed her lawsuit against the prop company that supplied the Rust production with dummy bullets. In her lawsuit, Gutierrez-Reed claims that some of the rounds were mislabeled as dummy ammunition when they were, in fact, live. To date, the prop company has denied any wrongdoing in the incident.
The lawsuit petition also states that “the Defendants had the power to prevent her death if they had only held sacrosanct their duty to protect the safety of every individual on a set.” Furthermore, the complaint states that the production company was “cutting corners on safety procedures where human lives were at stake, rushing to stay on schedule and ignoring numerous complaints of safety violations.”
There are even rumors that those associated with the movie (Baldwin, the producers and the Rust Production Companies) knew about safety issues surrounding the firearms on set. Alleged safety issues include not adhering to safety precautions and not teaching the actors who were using guns basic gun safety rules.
Counsel for the Defendants stated that “[n]othing about Plaintiff’s allegations suggest that any of Defendants, including Mr. Baldwin, intended the Prop Gun to be loaded with live ammunition.”