The western movie Rust is gathering very little rust. The movie may have ceased production, probably for good, but the story of this movie is far from over. The movie that has already led to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, and the possibility of an amputation for a crew member, is now facing a lawsuit.
The chief of lighting for Rust, Serge Svetnoa has filed a lawsuit against Rust Movie Productions LLC, the production company put in place to make the movie, which includes Alec Baldwin as a producer. Baldwin is also specifically named in the suit requesting punitive damages. As reported by NBC, Svetnoa accuses the producers of being “consciously aware of the wrongfulness and harmfulness of their conduct.”
Svetnoa says he was actually hit by fragments of the live round that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. He says he hopes his lawsuit sends a message that corners should not be cut when movies are made.
It was reported shortly after the shooting incident that just prior to the accident several of the crew of the movie walked off the set due to what they say were poor and unsafe working conditions.
The lawsuit is drawing a distinct line between the working conditions, and the feeling that corners were cut by producers, and the tragic accident that occurred on set. While Svetnoa says he does not a blame an individual person for what transpired, he believes that everybody involved in a production should take responsibility.
Many have been looking at on-set armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed when covering the question of responsibility. She has obtained her own lawyers to deal with the situation, and they have put forth the idea that one or more people may have intentionally tampered with the ammunition on set in order to cause the accident.
Rust was a movie that was set to star Alec Baldwin and Jensen Ackles that likely would have passed underneath the radar of most had it not been for the tragedy that befell the movie. Last month Alec Baldwin fired a gun he believed to be safe but it launched a projectile that killed the movie’s cinematographer.
More recently, Jason Miller, a crew member that was working to dismantle the set of Rust, was bitten by a venomous spider. He is now undergoing significant medical procedures and may lose an arm.
This likely won’t be the only lawsuit against the people who made Rust. The family of Halnya Hutchins, and Jason Miller likely also have standing to sue. There’s also still the question of criminal charges. The Santa Fe district attorney has previously said that nothing is yet off the table when it comes to filing charges as the investigation is still ongoing.