A new lawsuit against actor Alec Baldwin, which was filed by members of the film crew, is likely to end in a settlement. This opinion was expressed on Tuesday, February 28, by Dmitry Gorbunov, partner of the law firm Rustam Kurmaev and Partners, in a commentary to Izvestia.
The new lawsuit was announced by the TV channel fox news. Three former crew members demanded compensation from Baldwin and the filming companies. According to them, they witnessed the death of a cameraman, because of which they received psychological trauma. In addition, due to a strong shot, they allegedly received shell shock and temporarily lost their hearing.
“Usually, such conflicts are resolved by concluding a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs, as a result of which their applications are withdrawn and the paperwork is terminated. In concrete history, there are already examples of such agreements, not least the settlement agreement with the family of the deceased, thanks to which the shooting of the film can continue. A related dispute between Rust Movie Productions and the New Mexico Bureau of Occupational Safety also ended with a settlement agreement,” Gorbunov said.
According to the lawyer, the defendants and the members of the film crew who filed the claims will also probably agree on the implementation of certain payments compensating for moral suffering and damage to health, after which the claim will be withdrawn.
“At the same time, most likely, the amount of such compensation will be lower than stated in the lawsuit. This is also quite a normal practice, corresponding to the interests of both the plaintiffs, who may generally lose the case if the defendant’s guilt or the presence of damage caused to him is not proven, and the defendant, who also risks losing the case, which may result in new lawsuits from members of the film crew. brigades that will appeal to the judgment that has already been rendered. And this is important, because in the United States the precedent is a source of law and their courts will not be able to ignore, ”the expert added.
On February 23, it was reported that Baldwin refused to plead guilty to the manslaughter of Rust cinematographer Galina Hutchins. Baldwin faces 18 months in prison if found guilty. A preliminary hearing in the case is likely to take place at the end of April.
On January 31, the Santa Fe County District Attorney’s Office in New Mexico indicted Baldwin in a manslaughter case. According to the prosecution, the actor should have prepared more responsibly for the use of weapons on the set, made sure in advance that the revolver was not loaded, and also observed all safety precautions as much as possible.
As lawyer Igor Trunov explained to Izvestia, the accusation against Baldwin is based on the fact that, according to the scenario, there should not have been any shooting at all. So, a large frame was supposed, in which the artist only lowers his hand to the holster. In addition, according to safety rules, when an actor shoots, he cannot point the weapon at a person, even if the cartridges in the weapon are blanks.
The tragic incident, when a participant in the set was mortally wounded, occurred in October 2021. During a dress rehearsal for a scene in the Western “Rust” at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe County, Baldwin’s character used an antique revolver. When the actor fired, the film’s cameraman suffered a life-threatening injury, and director Joel Souza was wounded.
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