Rust Litigation Just Got Messier

Assistant director David Halls countersues, alleging negligence by Alec Baldwin, others
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2022 9:25 AM CST
Rust Litigation Gets Ever Messier
This aerial photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, NM, on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

The finger-pointing over the fatal firing of a live round on the set of Rust continues, with the film's assistant director claiming he should not be held liable for harm alleged and deserves compensation from other parties involved if he is. David Halls on Friday filed a countersuit to Alec Baldwin's lawsuit, which was itself a countersuit to a 2021 lawsuit from script supervisor Mamie Mitchell. Mitchell alleged Baldwin, Halls, and 21 others failed to follow adequate safety protocols. In November, Baldwin—who was holding the gun when it went off—countered that he should receive a share in any damages awarded to Mitchell if her lawsuit prevails, while alleging negligence by others including Halls, who handed him the weapon and was supposed to have checked that it was safe.

But Halls wants Baldwin, armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, and her assistant Seth Kenney to be held liable for any harm suffered by Mitchell, not him, as their "active and primary negligence" caused the incident, per The Hollywood Reporter. Halls "continues to contend that he is in no way actionably liable for the events and occurrences" alleged by Mitchell, reads the complaint, per the Los Angeles Times. "Each of the Cross-Defendants were negligently or tortiously responsible, in whole or in part, in some proportional relation to themselves and to Cross-Complainant, for the injuries, if any," it adds, per THR. If he's found liable, Halls argues others should be required to pay the damages.

This is just the latest "in a web of increasingly complex lawsuits being waged in Los Angeles and New Mexico," per the Times. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Whitaker previously dismissed claims of assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress against Halls by Mitchell—who was standing close to Halyna Hutchins when the fatal shot was fired—saying Halls couldn't have known the gun would discharge as the scene didn't require it, per THR. However, he still faces claims of negligence. Baldwin—who also points the finger at Gutierrez-Reed and Kenney, among others—continues to face Mitchell's claims of assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence. He and others could still face criminal charges as well, per the Times. (Filming is to resume next month.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.