“While [Rust script supervisor Mamie] Mitchell alleges that the producers assisted Baldwin by supplying the loaded weapon, Mitchell’s allegations fail to establish that the producers knew Baldwin would aim and fire the loaded weapon … such that they would be jointly liable for his intentional conduct,” Judge Michael E. Whitaker said today in a tentative and now final ruling.
Today’s hearing in downtown Los Angeles focused on Mitchell’s multi-claim lawsuit against defendants Rust Movie Productions LLC, Thomasville Pictures LLC and other producers of the indie Western pic. In her action filed less than a month after the fatal shooting on the New Mexico set on October 21, 2021, Mitchell claimed that Rust producers, star/producer Baldwin and other crew members were distinctly negligent with safety and other regulations.
However, a significant portion of the guts of her lawsuit were cut out by Whitaker today.
“Mitchell’s allegations would show the opposite to be true: The only person who knew Baldwin was going to fire the weapon was Baldwin,” the judge wrote. This ruling dismisses Mitchell’s claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress, as well as assault and battery against the Rust producers. However, Baldwin himself remains a defendant in the now-twice-amended lawsuit.
The tragic shooting on the Rust set occurred during a rehearsal in which a gun was not even supposed to have been utilized.
While the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office has yet to finalize its probe of the shooting that killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, lawsuits from various parties have been filed against Baldwin, the Rust producers and core crew members. Among those, most poignantly, is a wrongful-death suit against the Emmy-winning actor and producers by Hutchins’ widower and her family.
Long denying that he ever pulled the trigger on the gun that was improperly loaded with live rounds, Baldwin is also seeking to have the claims against him in Mitchell’s suit tossed out. A hearing is scheduled before Whitaker on that portion of the lawsuit November 1.