Rust Producers Hit With Maximum Penalty for Deadly On-Set Accident

Posted 2022/04/21 9 0


It is six months since the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in an accident on the set of Rust, the Western movie starring Alec Baldwin, and it has been revealed that the production company behind the movie has now been fine the highest amount possible for the incident. While legal battles and investigations are currently still ongoing, The Guardian reported that the state of New Mexico has slapped the maximum penalty on the producers of the movie for safety lapses that allowed the death of Hutchins and injury of director Joel Souza to occur.

The incident saw Alec Baldwin shooting what he believed to be a blank-filled prop gun directly at Hutchins, allegedly at her request, while practicing for a scene. When the gun was fired a live bullet shot the cinematographer and killed her, while the ricochet injured Souza who was next to her. Baldwin denied any wrongdoing, and although he immediately went with police to be questioned, some reports suggested that the actor, who also acts as producer on the movie, was not cooperating as much as possible. This was later denied, but has not prevented a number of private lawsuits being taken up against Baldwin.

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The new details have revealed that a fine of $139,793 was said to have been handed out to the production company, and according to the report, “The safety coordinator was present on set and took no direct action to address safety concerns. Management was provided with multiple opportunities to take corrective actions and chose not to do so. As a result of these failures, Director Joel Souza and cinematographer Halyna Hutchins were severely injured. Halyna Hutchins succumbed to her injuries.”

Alec Baldwin Pushed To Complete The Film In Memory of Halyna Hutchins

According to reports last month, it was revealed that Alec Baldwin had attempted to get Rust completed, even though it now seems likely that will never happen. In arbitration paperwork, it was detailed that Baldwin attempted to persuade everyone from the director to cast to return, and had attempted to arrange a settlement with the widow of Hutchins as well as honoring her memory. The details of the filing included a section that read:

“No one who had been involved in Rust is eager to return to New Mexico. It was only after an enormous input of time and work that Baldwin was able to convince each of the primary actors needed to complete the film and the film’s director Souza — who had been injured in that day’s events — that finishing Rust was an important step in honoring Halyna Hutchins’s memory and talent, defining her legacy, and, in turn, providing financial support to her family. Depending on the success of Rust upon its completion and release, this additional component of the settlement would likely have equaled millions of dollars.”

While it was first claimed that the idea was being considered by Hutchins’ widow, later he filed a wrongful death lawsuit and demanded to know why Baldwin was not accepting any fault in her death. The possibility of completing the movie seemed to end at that point, and further action is yet to be decided.

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