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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 filed by three crew members of the movie “Rust.” The crew members allege that the producers endangered the cast and crew through cost-cutting measures, and that Baldwin skipped his own safety training. The judge also declined to delay the proceedings, despite arguments from Baldwin’s legal team that doing so could put him at risk of self-incrimination since criminal charges have not yet been decided upon in the fatal on-set shooting of a cinematographer.

The judge indicated that evidence from the civil case could be used in the criminal case, which led to concern from Baldwin’s attorney about his client’s 5th Amendment rights. The attorney argued that Baldwin would assert his rights, and the plaintiffs would not be able to obtain any discovery in the meantime. However, the judge stated that he would be mindful of Baldwin’s rights.

The 2021 shooting incident on the set of “Rust” sparked multiple civil lawsuits, including wrongful death claims from the family of the cinematographer who was killed, Halyna Hutchins. The plaintiffs in the case allege that Baldwin and the other producers cut corners, ignored reports of firearm incidents, and rushed to finish the film while understaffed. They also claim to have suffered mental anguish and emotional distress from witnessing the shooting.

Baldwin’s attorneys argue that the plaintiffs were not physically injured and therefore should not be able to recover damages. They maintain that gun safety was not Baldwin’s responsibility as a producer and that his authority was limited. A separate settlement to resolve workplace safety violations was previously reached between New Mexico regulators and Rust Movie Productions.

The outcome of the criminal charges against Baldwin and the civil case is still pending.

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