The unintentional shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins while working on the set of “Rust” has resulted in one of the film’s crew members bringing legal action against key individuals in the case.
As reported by Rolling Stone, the film’s producers (which include actor Alec Baldwin, who shot Hutchins) and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, as well as assistant director Dave Halls, are being sued for negligence.
According to the publication, the complaint claims that Halls failed to follow necessary safety procedures before declaring that the pistol was “cold,” which means that there were no live bullets in the gun.
Baldwin is chastised for not independently checking the gun’s safety before firing it. Furthermore, according to The New York Times, the lawsuit points out that the scenario they were filming at the time apparently did not necessitate the use of a gun.
“Simply put, there was no reason for a live bullet to be placed in that .45 Colt revolver or to be present anywhere on the Rust set, and the presence of a bullet in that revolver posed a lethal threat to everyone in its vicinity,” according to the complaint, which was reported by Rolling Stone.
Aside from that, Svetnoy is criticizing Gutierrez-Reed and the production crew for not having enough armorers on-site to guarantee that everything was done in an appropriate manner.
Specifically, the lawsuit claims that “Each of the producer defendants knew, or certainly should have known, that injury or death was substantially certain to occur if the armorer and prop manager they hired to oversee and manage the firearms and ammunition did not or could not properly and safely discharge their duties and responsibilities per industry standards.”
The lawsuit claims that the gunshot apparently missed Svetnoy by a hair and that he was the primary person in charge of caring for Hutchins in the immediate aftermath of Hutchins’ death.
“Yes, I was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Halyna during this fatal shot that took her life and injured the director Joel Souza. I was holding her in my arms while she was dying. Her blood was on my hands,” he claimed.
“I want to tell my opinion on why this has happened. I think I have the right to do it. It’s the fault of negligence and unprofessionalism,” he continued. “The negligence from the person who was supposed to check the weapon on the site did not do this; the person who had to announce that the loaded gun was on the site did not do this; the person who should have checked this weapon before bringing it to the set did not do it. And the DEATH OF THE HUMAN IS THE RESULT!”
A little later in the facebook post, he appears to have taken a shot at the producers for employing Gutierrez-Reed.
“To save a dime sometimes, you hire people who are not fully qualified for the complicated and dangerous job, and you risk the lives of the other people who are close and your lives as well.”
Svetnoy is correct in bringing a lawsuit against the parties involved since it is evident that the unintentional death was the product of negligence. If his recent message is any indicator, he is now suffering through an inconceivable degree of trauma.
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) November 8, 2021
Hutchins would very likely still be alive today if the producers had paid more attention to detail and hadn’t been so concerned with expediency.
Unfortunate events such as this one should serve as warning for the entertainment industry as a whole, proper gun saftey should be of utmost importance on the set of major Hollywood productions.