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Alec Baldwin and ‘Rust’ Producers to Face Civil Case After Judge’s Ruling

A New Mexico judge has rejected a request by Alec Baldwin’s attorneys to dismiss a civil lawsuit by three crew members of the movie “Rust.” The crew members allege that cost-cutting measures put the cast and crew in danger as Baldwin skipped his own safety training.

Despite arguments from Baldwin’s legal team, the judge also declined to delay proceedings. Baldwin’s attorneys raised concerns about self-incrimination since prosecutors have yet to decide whether to refile criminal charges against him in relation to the fatal shooting on the film set.

The judge disagreed with the defense’s arguments, stating that he would take Baldwin’s rights into consideration. Prosecutors have not given a timeframe for when a decision on refiling charges will be made.

The shooting incident occurred in 2021 when Baldwin, a co-producer of the film, was handling a gun during a rehearsal. The gun accidentally discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

The civil lawsuits surrounding the shooting focus on allegations of safety negligence by the defendants. Wrongful death claims have been filed by members of Hutchins’ family. Baldwin and the other defendants deny the accusations of lax safety standards.

The plaintiffs in the case claim that Baldwin and the other producers cut corners, ignored reports of firearm discharges, and rushed production while understaffed. They also allege emotional distress from witnessing the shooting.

Baldwin’s attorneys argue that the plaintiffs did not sustain physical injuries and should not be eligible for damages. They contend that gun safety was the responsibility of others and that Baldwin’s producer authority was limited to script and casting suggestions.

A separate settlement addressing workplace safety violations was reached between New Mexico regulators and Rust Movie Productions. The state’s review revealed significant safety failures, including unaddressed gun-safety complaints and restrictions on the decision-making power of weapons specialists.

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