New Mexico Judge Approves ‘Rust’ Settlement in Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Alec Baldwin

Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal/Sonia Recchia/Getty Images/Instagram
Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal/Sonia Recchia/Getty Images/Instagram

A New Mexico district judge approved a settlement Thursday in a wrongful death lawsuit against actor Alex Baldwin filed by the family of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was shot and killed by Baldwin with a gun being used during filming.

The lawsuit, alleging a violation of industry standards, was filed against Baldwin — the film’s producer and star — and against the various production companies, producers, and other top members of the crew, according to Fox News.

Hutchins died in Oct. of 2021 after a single action pistol wielded by Baldwin was fired during blocking and rehearsals for a scene. The cinematographer was struck in the chest by a single bullet and died as she was being transported by air to a hospital in Albuquerque 65 miles away.

Matthew Hutchins, the husband of Halyna Hutchins, announced in Oct. of last year that the parties had reached a settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit but that the agreement needed a judge’s approval before completion. That settlement has now been approved by a judge in Santa Fe.

The amount of the settlement was not revealed, but it has been revealed that the money will be laid out in structured annuities and will be paid to Hutchins’ son when he reaches the ages of 18 and 22.

Another part of the agreement gave Matthew Hutchins the title of executive producer for Rust along with the financial remuneration that role entails.

The film went back into production in April, but was moved to a new set in Montana. Principal photography for the film was completed by May, according to an Instagram post by Baldwin.

Baldwin always denied pulling the trigger of the gun that killed Hutchins, despite that fact that the firearm in question was a single action revolver that cannot fire unless it has been both cocked and the trigger pulled.

New Mexico authorities dithered for months on whether to charge Baldwin for the shooting. Eventually manslaughter charges were filed. But soon enough, those charges were dropped.

Still, there was a raft of lawsuits filed by surviving loved ones of the deceased Hutchins, various crew members, and even one filed by Baldwin himself in retaliation.

The film is now in post production, but it is unknown if it has found a distributor or if it will be shown on streaming or in theaters.

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