A judge on Tuesday issued a final ruling tossing out certain complaints filed by the film’s script supervisor ‘Rust’ against Alec Baldwin’s production company in a lawsuit stemming from the accidental shooting of two crew members, but not the causes of action against Baldwin himself.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Whitaker also denied a defense motion to strike Mamie Mitchell’s claim for punitive damages against Baldwin, 64, and his company, El Dorado Pictures Inc. The Judge heard arguments, briefly submitted the case and later issued a final decision reflecting his interim ruling issued earlier in the day.
Mitchell maintains she was standing nearby when Baldwin accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured the film’s director, Joel Souza, on October 21, 2021, in a replica church on the set of the film” Rust” in New Mexico, leaving her with physical and emotional damage.
Whitaker dismissed Mitchell’s assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims against El Dorado, but not Baldwin, and allowed the plaintiff to proceed with her negligence claim against both.
Addressing Baldwin’s motion to strike Mitchell’s claim for punitive damages, the judge said the plaintiff alleged that ammunition, including the gun Baldwin unloaded, was routinely left unattended throughout filming before the incident, and that loaded firearms had been used by the crew members for target practice by the crew members against safety protocols.
The judge also noted that Mitchell alleges that Baldwin and El Dorado “intentionally undertook a low-budget, cost-cutting program that was known to create unsafe conditions for film production crews, resulting in the failure (of the defendants) to ensure basic safety protocols regarding the dangerous use of firearms.
Mitchell lives in New Mexico and the events occurred there, so his arguments were made under the laws of that state.
Attorneys for Baldwin and El Dorado filed court documents Sept. 2 asking that their clients be dismissed as defendants in the most recent version of Mitchell’s lawsuit filed Aug. 3. The lawyers also say that California law governs the issue of punitive damages and that they should be struck from Mitchell’s case, alleging that she has not demonstrated intentional or despicable conduct by Baldwin.
Baldwin/El Dorado’s attorneys further argued in their court papers that Mitchell failed to explain how the actor, his company, or any of the other defendants owed her a duty of care that rendered them negligent.
The gun held by Baldwin “accidentally and unexpectedly fired live ammunition, injuring director Joel Souza and resulting in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins”, Baldwin/El Dorado’s attorneys further claimed in their submissions. court documents.