Actor Alec Baldwin may have settled his wrongful death lawsuit with the family of late cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last month, but his legal troubles surrounding the fatal shooting are far from over.
It’s been over a year since the “30 Rock” actor fired a gun on the set of the ill-fated Western film. The firearm contained a live round that struck and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.
On Tuesday, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that “Rust” script supervisor Mamie Mitchell can pursue her negligence and other claims against the actor.
Judge Rules That ‘Rust’ Script Supervisor’s Lawsuit Against Alec Baldwin Can Continue
According to Deadline, Baldwin had filed a motion to be removed from the civil lawsuit, which had been filed by Mitchell in November 2021, one month after the shooting. Mitchell had been standing near Hutchins and Souza at the Bonanza Creek Ranch when the gun Baldwin was holding went off. Baldwin has vehemently denied pulling the trigger on the firearm.
On Tuesday, November 1, Judge Michael E. Whitaker denied Baldwin’s motion to strike Mitchell’s claim for punitive damages.
In his ruling, Judge Whitaker wrote, “Accordingly, the Court finds the plaintiff’s allegations in the SAC [second amended complaint] demonstrates alleged despicable conduct carried out by the demurring defendants with a willful and conscientious disregard of the rights or safety of other sufficient to withstand a motion to strike.”
One of Mitchell’s attorneys, Gloria Allred, released a statement saying, “We are very happy that we won, and that the Court today permitted us, over the objection of Alec Baldwin, to proceed in our lawsuit against him on our theories of assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. In addition, the Court, over Mr. Baldwin’s objection, allowed us to proceed against him for punitive damages.”
‘Rust’ Production Company Off The Hook In Script Supervisor’s Civil Lawsuit
Previously, on September 16, Judge Whitaker ruled that only actor Alec Baldwin, not the “Rust” production company, was responsible for the fatal shooting due to the fact that he was the one who fired the weapon.
In his September ruling, Judge Whitaker wrote, “While Mitchell alleges that the producers assisted Baldwin by supplying the loaded weapon, Mitchell’s allegations fail to establish that the producers knew Baldwin would aim and fire the loaded weapon … such that they would be jointly liable for his intentional conduct.”
Although Mitchell alleged that Rust Movie Productions LLC, Thomasville Pictures LLC, and other producers were all negligent with safety and other regulations on set, Judge Whitaker disagreed.
“Mitchell’s allegations would show the opposite to be true: The only person who knew Baldwin was going to fire the weapon was Baldwin,” Judge Whitaker wrote.
The ruling dismissed Mitchell’s claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress, as well as assault and battery charges against “Rust” producers. Although Alec Baldwin filed a motion to be dismissed from the lawsuit, Judge Whitaker ruled on Tuesday that Mitchell’s civil lawsuit against the actor can proceed.
‘Rust’ Police Report Has Been Handed Over To The District Attorney
On October 27, Deadline reported that the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation into the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins was completed more than a year after her death.
That report has now been handed over to New Mexico District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, who may pursue charges against as many as four individuals connected to the fatal shooting.
A spokesperson from the DA’s office read, “Today, District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies received the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s investigative report on the Rust movie set incident.”
“The District Attorney and her team of investigators and prosecutors will now begin a thorough review of the information and evidence to make a thoughtful, timely decision about whether to bring charges,” the statement continued. “As with all cases that the District Attorney handles, her focus will be on upholding the integrity of the process, enforcing the laws of the state of New Mexico, and pursuing justice.”
On August 30, a letter from Carmack-Altwies to the New Mexico State Finance Board mentioned that Alec Baldwin was “one of the possible defendants” in the case. The DA requested $635K to prosecute as many as four individuals; however, the state only granted her $317,750.
It’s unclear how possible criminal charges will interfere with the filming of the Western film, which is set to resume filming in January 2023 at an undisclosed location in California. As part of the wrongful death lawsuit settlement, Halyna Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, has signed on as executive producer.