“Rust” crew member files negligence suit for fatal shooting


Actor Alec Baldwin from the film “LymeLife” poses during the 33rd Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2008. (REUTERS)

LOS ANGELES – A crew member who witnessed the fatal shooting on the set of the movie “Rust” last month filed a negligence lawsuit Wednesday against actor Alec Baldwin and the film’s producers.

Serge Svetnoy, the chief electrician on the set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, accused producers and others of failing to enforce safety standards and allowing “a revolver loaded with live ammunition to be aimed at living people on the set of Rust. “, according to the civil suit filed in Los Angeles.

Svetnoy’s lawsuit was thought to be the first filed in Baldwin’s accidental shooting in October. Santa Fe authorities are still investigating and no criminal charges have been brought against anyone.

Director of photography Halyna Hutchins was killed last October. 21, and director Joel Souza was injured when a gun that was told Baldwin was safely fired from a live bullet, investigators said. Other live rounds were also found on the set.

“Making a film is a wonderful art, but no one should ever die for others to have fun,” Svetnoy’s lawyer Gary Dordick said at a press conference.

“They never should have, never should have had live rounds on this set,” added Dordick.

Svetnoy was one of the few people on set when the fatal shooting occurred. In the lawsuit she said she held Hutchins in her arms as she bled from being hit in the chest, adding that “it would haunt him forever.”

The lawsuit also names gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez, who was in charge of the guns, and assistant director Dave Halls, who told investigators he was the one who handed the gun to Baldwin during a trial.

Representatives of Baldwin, who was also one of the producers, Halls, Gutierrez and the other producers did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday. Producers have previously said they are conducting their own internal investigation and have not been notified of any complaints regarding gun safety on set prior to the incident.

Dordick said Svetnoy, who is seeking unspecified damages, was not looking to make money from the lawsuit but to ensure better working conditions and safety on movie sets in the future.

“Mr. Svetnov is not motivated by money … This lawsuit is meant to end these kinds of unsafe conditions that happen too much on movie sets now,” Dordick said.


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