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'Rust' crew member suing Alec Baldwin, armorer, assistant director and others

Lawsuit filed by gaffer Serge Svetnoy claims general negligence after the fatal prop-gun shooting that killed the film's cinematographer and wounded its director.

November 11, 2021 1:46pm

Updated: November 11, 2021 6:01pm

A crew member for the movie "Rust" filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against actor and producer Alec Baldwin and some of the film's other producers, its armorer and assistant director, citing negligence regarding how they handled a loaded gun on the set.

The lawsuit filed by Serge Svetnoy the chief lighting technician for "Rust"  accuses the film's producers of breaching their duties by allowing real ammunition to be stored on set.

On Oct. 21, Baldwin accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, and wounded director Joel Souza, 48, on the film's New Mexico set. Baldwin was reportedly told by assistant director Dave Halls that the gun was "cold," meaning it was thought to be safe because it didn't have live ammunition.

"Plaintiff is informed and believes, and on such information and belief alleges that the ammunition used on the 'Rust' set was never stored securely and was simply left unattended in the prop truck," states the lawsuit, which also claims that Baldwin should have checked to see if the gun was unloaded.

Halls, Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film's armorer, are three of the nearly two dozen defendants named in the lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The suit alleges Gutierrez-Reed should not have taken the job as the set's only armorer considering that the film "required multiple assistant armorers to safely manage the firearm needs" and maintain "an industry standard of care," according to Rolling Stone.

“They should never, ever, have had live rounds on this set,” Svetnoy’s attorney Gary A. Dordick said at a news conference Wednesday.

Svetnoy and Hutchins were considered "close friends," having worked on nine films together since 2017, according to the lawsuit, which is believed to be the first one stemming from the shooting.