Alec Baldwin faced a significant setback today as a judge ruled against his attempt to have the civil lawsuit related to the "Rust" movie shooting dismissed. The lawsuit had been brought forth by three crew members of "Rust," who accused Baldwin and the production companies involved of negligence and recklessness that led to the fatal shooting incident.
In the courtroom, Baldwin's legal team also sought a motion to stay the civil action until the criminal proceedings were resolved. However, Judge Bryan Biedscheid declined this request, stating that this aspect could be revisited as the case progressed.
Despite acknowledging concerns about Baldwin's Fifth Amendment rights, the judge stood firm on his decision, suggesting that protective orders might be filed in the future or Baldwin's Fifth Amendment right might be invoked later.
Lawyer Slams Delay in Baldwin Case Progression
Baldwin's lawyer, Robert Schwartz, expressed dissatisfaction with the ruling, deeming it an "unnecessary" and "real injustice." He pointed out that the plaintiffs had waited 16 months after the shooting before pushing forward with the civil case, highlighting the potential complexity of simultaneously handling a civil suit and potential criminal charges.
The trio of crew members, Ross Addiego, Doran Curtin, and Reese Price, filed the lawsuit against Baldwin, Rust Movie Productions, LLC, and El Dorado Pictures. Their complaint included claims of injuries sustained on set, such as hearing loss and vibrational shock, asserting that Baldwin's and the production company's negligence played a role in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on October 21, 2021.
Hutchins tragically lost her life during a rehearsal of a cross-draw scene when a gun Baldwin was holding discharged unexpectedly. The lawsuit underscored alleged safety concerns throughout the production, with the crew members asserting that safety protocols were disregarded.
Assistant director David Halls was accused of compromising safety by taking shortcuts and failing to properly communicate safety guidelines regarding handling weapons. The crew members recounted that Baldwin had accepted the gun on the day of the incident without verifying its safety.
The lawsuit stated that he didn't request a safety check, nor did he ensure that the chamber was unloaded. This, despite Baldwin's familiarity with different types of ammunition and loaded chambers. In addition to this civil lawsuit, Baldwin faces other legal challenges, including a lawsuit from Hutchins' family, which alleges various charges such as battery and infliction of emotional distress.
Originally charged with involuntary manslaughter, Baldwin had those charges dropped in April. However, special prosecutor Kari Morrissey confirmed that the possibility of new charges was being considered in light of emerging evidence.
As the legal saga continues, Baldwin finds himself entangled in a complex web of litigation, both civil and potentially criminal in nature. The court's denial of his motion to dismiss the civil lawsuit marks a pivotal juncture in a case that has garnered significant attention from both the legal community and the public at large.
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