In a filing on Monday, Alec Baldwin’s lawyers argued that a lawsuit coming from the “Rust” shooting in October should be dismissed since it was a working accident.
Baldwin’s lawyers have laid out a legal argument for why he is not culpable in the Oct. 21 incident, which killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza for the first time. The Santa Fe County (N.M.) The sheriff’s Office is still investigating, and no criminal charges have been filed.
The lawsuit was filed in response to a suit filed on Nov. 17 by Mamie Mitchell, the film’s script supervisor, against Baldwin and other producers and crew members. Mitchell discharged the gun while standing just a few feet away from Baldwin and was the first to call 911. She claims she was left with pain and ringing in her ears, as well as emotional trauma.
Baldwin’s lawyers contend that any recompense should come solely from New Mexico’s workers compensation system, which covers on-the-job accidents.
“Plaintiff alleges facts suggestive of negligence (i.e., a claim exclusively subject to New Mexico’s workers’ compensation system), not assault,” the demurrer states.
Baldwin said he was told he was holding a “cold gun” that was loaded with simulated rounds in interviews with investigators and ABC News. In reality, the rifle had a live round in it. Investigators have been trying to figure out how that bullet got onto the set.
Mitchell’s suit alleges Baldwin should have double-checked the pistol and that the producers cut costs, resulting in dangerous conditions. Baldwin’s lawyers contend in their demurrer that Mitchell cannot prove that the shooting was the result of an intentional act.
“Nothing about Plaintiff’s allegations suggest that any of Defendants, including Mr. Baldwin, intended the Prop Gun to be loaded with live ammunition,” they wrote. “Moreover, nothing about Plaintiff’s allegations suggests any of the Defendants knew the Prop Gun contained live ammunition.”
Mitchell filed a lawsuit alleging assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and deliberate infliction of harm. She also sued the armorer who loaded the pistol and David Halls, the first assistant director who handed it to Baldwin, as well as a number of other crew members. The complaint has yet to receive a response from the defendants.
Baldwin’s lawyers also allege that Mitchell suffered “no apparent physical injury” and accuse her of having “raced to the courthouse in California… apparently to get her claim in front of any potential claims by the two individuals who were hit by the live round.”
As per Yahoo, Hutchins’ estate has yet to file a lawsuit, despite the fact that her husband has retained the services of attorney Brian Panish. Souza hasn’t filed a lawsuit either.
Serge Svetnoy, a gaffer who was also there when the shot was fired, filed a separate suit on Nov. 10. That complaint has yet to receive a response from the producers.
The producers of “Rust” had a $6 million liability policy with Chubb.
Gloria Allred is Mitchell’s lawyer. Aaron Dyer and other Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP attorneys submitted the demurrer on behalf of Baldwin and producers Ryan Smith, Allen Cheney, Matt Delpiano, and Anjul Nigam.