‘Rust’ shooting: Judge approves settlement in wrongful death lawsuit

A New Mexico judge approved a settlement Thursday in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died in a shooting on the set of the movie “Rust” in 2021.

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In the lawsuit, filed in February 2022, Hutchins’ family accused the movie’s producers — including actor Alec Baldwin — of disregarding industry standards and recklessly causing Hutchins’ death. Authorities said Baldwin was holding a gun on Oct. 21, 2021, while Hutchins was setting up a scene for “Rust” when it fired, shooting a bullet that hit and killed Hutchins and injuring the movie’s director, Joel Souza.

“Rust” producers and Hutchins’ family announced that a settlement had been reached in the case in October, though it had to be approved by a judge before becoming final because it involved Hutchins’ 10-year-old son, according to KRQE and the Santa Fe New Mexican. Records from Santa Fe District Court obtained by KRQE show Judge Bryan Biedscheid determined the settlement was in the best interest of the boy and OK’d the agreement on Thursday.

Details of the settlement were not made public, the New Mexican reported.

As part of the agreement, Halyna Hutchins’ widower, Matthew Hutchins, became executive producer of “Rust,” which resumed filming in April in Montana, according to Reuters.

“All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident,” he said last fall in a statement. “I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”

In January, authorities charged Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deadly shooting, though charges against Baldwin were later dropped.

The film’s assistant director, David Halls, signed a plea agreement for one count of negligent use of a deadly weapon and got a suspended sentence and six months of probation, officials said.

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