Judge Rules ‘Rust’ Script Supervisor Can Seek Punitive Damages in Lawsuit; Court Hearing Set For Sept.
On Thursday, Judge Michael E. Whitaker ruled that the lawsuit brought against Alec Baldwin by “Rust” script supervisor Mamie Mitchell and other production members would be rescheduled for September 28.
Judge Whitaker moved the hearing to give the plaintiff the option to file an amended complaint and that he can seek punitive damages.
“Mitchell, who was standing next to cinematographer Halyna Hutchins when Hutchins was fatally shot with a prop weapon fired by the actor in October. Mitchell alleges extensive negligence on the New Mexico set and that the scene Baldwin was rehearsing never called for him to fire the weapon,” reported Deadline.
“Last month, a Superior Court judge in Los Angeles ruled that Mamie Mitchell, the script supervisor who was standing next to cinematographer Halyna Hutchins when she was fatally shot with a prop weapon fired by actor Alec Baldwin on the Rust film set, can seek punitive damages from some of the producers who sought to have the damages stricken,” the report added.
“For pleading purposes, the court finds the first amended complaint alleges facts sufficient to establish despicable conduct carried out by moving defendants with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others,” the judge wrote.
Whitaker also noted that Mitchell’s lawyers alleged the four defendants “intentionally undertook a low-budget and cost-cutting scheme that was known to create unsafe conditions for movie production crews that resulted in moving defendants’ failure to ensure basic safety protocols with respect to the hazardous use of firearms.”
Attorneys for Mitchell alleged that the producers “intentionally failed to hire experienced crew members to manage and handle the numerous weapons that were to be used in the film.”
Last month, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza told the TODAY show that Alec Baldwin is “not off the hook” for the deadly incident.
“I don’t think anybody’s off the hook when it comes to criminal charges. I’ve said this before: I think there was complacency on the set. There was disorganization and a degree of negligence — whether that rises to a criminal level, that will be up to the district attorney,” he said during the interview.
Baldwin is still involved in the ongoing investigation into Hutchins’ death, although he has repeatedly claimed he is not responsible for the accidental shooting.
“Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property,” the actor said to ABC News host George Stephanopoulos. “Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.”
“I don’t know what happened on that set. I don’t know how that bullet arrived in that gun. I don’t know,” he said. “But I’m all for doing anything that will take us to a place where this is less likely to happen again.”