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Alec Baldwin sued by family of ‘Rust’ cinematographer who was shot dead on set

The family of a cinematographer who was murdered on the set of the film “Rust” filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Alec Baldwin and the film’s producers on Tuesday.

Attorney Brian Panish revealed that he and his company filed a wrongful death complaint in New Mexico on behalf of her husband Matthew Hutchins and their son, Andros, for “reckless behavior and cost-cutting” that resulted in Hutchins’ death.

Baldwin and the other producers are accused of “failed to perform industry standard safety checks and follow basic gun safety rules while using real guns to produce the movie Rust, with fatal consequences,” according to the lawsuit.

Baldwin’s lawyer said that any claims that the actor was careless are “completely false.”

The claim, filed in the name of Matthew and Andros Hutchins in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, depicts a text message discussion between a camera operator and a producer in which a concern about gun safety was greeted with “callous sarcasm,” according to the suit.

Lane Luper, the operator, texted Katherine Walters, the unit production manager, stating, “We’ve now had 3 accidental discharges. This is super unsafe.”

To which Walters replies, “Accidental discharge on the firearm? Awesome. Sounds good.”

At least four additional lawsuits have been filed in connection with the incident, but this is the first one that is specifically linked to one of the two victims.

According to lawyer Brian Panish, the defendants’ “reckless conduct and cost-cutting measures resulted in the death of Halyna Hutchins.”

According to the lawsuit, “Halyna Hutchins would be alive and well, hugging her husband and 9-year-old son” if correct standards had been followed.

Hutchins was behind the camera, filming a scene at the Bonanza Creek Ranch west of Santa Fe for a Western picture. Baldwin, the main actor, was pointing a pistol at Hutchins during a practice, according to the complaint. The gun, which was loaded with a live bullet, went off, killing her and injuring Joel Souza, the film’s director. Baldwin has said that he was unaware that the rifle was loaded with live bullets and that he did not intend for it to fire.

In December, Baldwin told ABC News, “I didn’t pull the trigger. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never.”

“Halyna Hutchins deserved to live, and 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 where firearms were present instead of cutting corners on safety procedures where human lives were at stake, rushing to stay on schedule and ignoring numerous complaints of safety violations,” the wrongful death complaint claims.

At the press conference, the attorneys exhibited an animated reenactment of the incident.

According to the lawsuit, industry guidelines require the use of a rubber or similar prop gun during the setup, but there was no need for a real gun.

According to the report, both Baldwin and assistant director David Halls, who gave him the handgun, should have examined it for live rounds.

Baldwin gave up his smartphone to police in his native state of New York last month, almost three months after the incident. They retrieved data from the phone and handed it over to Santa Fe County detectives who had a warrant for it.