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Judge Approves Rust Wrongful Death Settlement after Charges Are Dropped against Alec Baldwin
The details of the settlement have not been revealed to the public.
A Santa Fe district court judge has approved a settlement that was reached in the wrongful death lawsuit that Halyna Hutchins' widower and son filed against Alec Baldwin, set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, and other Rust crew members, according to ABC News.
The lawsuit was filed in February 2022, nearly five months after the cinematographer was killed during a rehearsal on the set of Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Baldwin had been practicing a scene involving a prop gun when it fired, striking Halyna and director Joel Souza. While Souza survived his injuries, Halyna died en route to the hospital.
An investigation later determined that the prop gun, a replica revolver, was loaded with live ammunition instead of dummy rounds. Gutierrez-Reed has stated that she doesn't know how live ammunition was loaded.
In the lawsuit, Matthew alleged that Baldwin and other crew members "failed to perform industry standard safety checks” and follow “basic gun safety rules," Oxygen.com previously reported.
"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 violation,” the lawsuit read.
All parties involved in the lawsuit reached a settlement in October and it was sent to a judge for approval.
Baldwin, who has repeatedly stated that he did not pull the trigger, confirmed the development in a social media post, writing, "Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation."
The terms of the settlement for Halyna's son, Andros, haven't been revealed and were sealed by a judge in April due to him being a minor. He will receive payments beginning at the age of 18, ABC News reported.
In regard to Matthew's settlement, also reached in October and approved by a Santa Fe district court judge earlier this year, he was named an executive producer on the film, which recently completed filming, Oxygen.com previously reported. Matthew also stated that his lawsuit would be dismissed.
"I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” Matthew Hutchins said in a statement confirming the settlement. "All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work."
Per the agreement, Baldwin and Souza were allowed to continue in their respective roles and "on-set safety supervisors and union crew members" were brought on, including cinematographer Bianca Cline and producer Grant Hill. Both Cline and Hill have pledged to donate their salaries to charity in Halyna's honor.
It was further revealed that the completion of filming would be highlighted in a documentary about Halyna's life and work, directed by Rachel Mason and produced by Julee Metz. "We embarked on this endeavor to shed light on Halyna’s life and to honor her achievements. We refuse to shy away from any aspect of this story, no matter how difficult — and if that includes the effort to complete Halyna’s final film, it is our duty to document the process," Metz told the Hollywood Reporter.
In recent months, Baldwin, Gutierrez-Reed and David Halls faced charges in Halyna's death, though the charges against Baldwin have since been dropped. Gutierrez-Reed is due to appear in court this August, according to the New Mexico Courts.