(Updated with Matthew Hutchins’ lawyer statement) Alec Baldwin is already facing involuntary manslaughter charges and a potential five years in prison if found guilty for the 2021 fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins, and now the parents and sister of the slain Rust cinematographer have filed a lawsuit of their own.
“We have filed a lawsuit today in Los Angeles Superior Court against Alec Baldwin, Rust producers, armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, first assistant director David Halls, and other defendants who may have been responsible for the death of Halyna Hutchins,” attorney Gloria Allred said Thursday of the negligence and battery civil action filed on behalf of Hutchins’ Ukrainian-based family members Olga Solovey, Anatoli Androsvych and Svetlana Zemko. “May she rest in peace.”
“Anyone who is responsible for her loss must be held accountable,” the lawyer added, quoting Hutchins’ sister.
The jury trial seeking 32-page filing asks for unspecified damages “against each Defendant, jointly and severally, in an amount to be proven at trial, including, without limitation, related to the direct harm to the relationship between Halyna Hutchins and them as her surviving mother, father, and younger sister and for the resulting emotional distress due to the loss of loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, guidance, training, assistance, and moral support of Halyna Hutchins” (read it here).
In laying out the claims, Allred today detailed the conditions of the family in the war-torn Eastern European nation under attack by Vladimir Putin and Russian forces. Allred also noted that Halyna Hutchins intended to bring her relatives to the U.S., a move that has now clearly been stymied. Having said that, the family may be traveling to America in the next few months because of this latest suit, according to co-counsel John Carpenter.
“There has been no outreach by Mr. Baldwin, no apology,” Allred said when asked why this suit by the parents and sister has been filed when Hutchins’ widower husband and son reached an October 2022 settlement in their wrongful death action with Baldwin and Rust producers. “We want accountability and justice for them,” the attorney said of the complex move in California, home of Rust Productions, that seeks loss of of consortium under the laws of New Mexico, where the shooting happened.
“The settlement was for Matthew and his child, and we are now representing others in the family, Mom, Dad and sister, and there has been no settlement for them,” Allred said at a press conference in her L.A. office this morning.
Made public on October 5 last year, the deal between Matthew Hutchins, Baldwin and Rust producers saw Matthew Hutchins’ wrongful-death suit dropped, and the widower named an executive producer on a resurrected Rust movie. However, with insurance hurdles galore and now criminal charges in New Mexico against Baldwin and Reed, that settlement looks pretty much torn up for all practical purposes.
“Matt Hutchins is pursuing claims on his behalf and on behalf of Andros,” lawyer Brian J. Panish told Deadline today after Allred’s press conference. “We do not believe any other family members have a claim under New Mexico or California law. Neither Mr. Hutchins nor his attorneys were made aware of the family’s intention to file a lawsuit before today.”
No stranger to high-profile cases Allred currently also represents Rust script supervisor Maime Mitchell in her November 2021-filed negligence suit against Baldwin, Rust producers and others. Amidst a glut of civil suits over the tragedy, Baldwin countersued over the harm to his career after failing repeatedly to stomp Mitchell’s action or get out of it. Today, Allred indicated she may move at one point to meld the two cases.
After an extensive probe by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office was released late last year, Baldwin and Reed were formally charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter on January 31 over the October 21, 2021 shooting of Hutchins at Bonanza Creek Ranch.
Baldwin has long denied he pulled the trigger on the 1880s prop gun that killed Hutchins and wounded Rust director Joel Souza.
As Baldwin battles the charges and the prosecutors, a first hearing in the criminal case is scheduled in front of New Mexico state Judge Mary Marlowe Summer on February 24. If Summer determines out of that hearing that there is enough evidence to move forward, the case will move towards a later preliminary hearing and eventually a trial.
Today’s announcement by Allred and Hutchins’ family comes a day after it was revealed that the “firearm enhancement” charge Baldwin and Reed were hit with last month could be on shaky legal ground. That unease isn’t from the charge itself, which carries that additional five years behind bars sentence, or even the alleged crime. Rather, because the enhancement charge didn’t become law in New Mexico until May 2022, several months after Hutchins’s death, it could be barred.
On Thursday, a spokesperson for Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies told Deadline that the D.A.’s review of the charges and the law is ongoing. “The District Attorney and special prosecutor are actively reviewing all applicable laws to ensure they have the strongest case to secure justice for Halyna Hutchins,” said Heather Brewer, noting no changes to the charges had occurred.
Having called the charges by the Santa Fe D.A. a “terrible miscarriage of justice,” Baldwin and his Quinn Emanuel legal team are also trying to have the appointed special prosecutor dismissed. Lead defense attorney Lubke Nikas filed a motion February 7 to disqualify recently elected GOP state legislator Andrea Reeb from the high-profile case and subsequent trial because of the unconstitutional nature of her duel role.
“Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys can use whatever tactics they want to distract from the fact that Halyna Hutchins died because of gross negligence and a reckless disregard for safety on the Rust film set,” the D.A.’s office said in response.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.