Alec Baldwin Files Documents to Avoid Liability in Deadly Filming ‘Rust’

Alec Baldwin filed for arbitration Friday against the producers of the film “Rust”, alleging he is not financially responsible for the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last year.

The arbitration request, filed with dispute resolution provider JAMS, argues that the star’s contract protects him from financial liability in lawsuits brought against him, including the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Hutchins’ widower.

On Oct. 21 last year, Hutchins died on the set of “Rust” after a prop gun Baldwin held unloaded while rehearsing a scene for the western in New Mexico.

In the claim, Baldwin says he tried to reach a settlement with Hutchins’ family.

According to the filing, Baldwin – producer and star of the film – claims he was not responsible for the death and was not responsible for gun safety or on-set hiring.

Baldwin and his fellow “Rust” producers have been accused of negligence by family and others involved in the production. Lawsuits have alleged the hiring of inexperienced crew members and safety violations.

In an interview, Baldwin denied any responsibility for the death of the 42-year-old cinematographer.

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Baldwin, 63, fired a weapon believed to contain only blanks, but discharged a lead bullet that hit Hutchins in the chest and then injured director Joel Souza.

The incident led to a criminal investigation and a series of legal actions by crew members alleging widespread negligence and unsafe conditions on set.

The lawsuits allege that the union cameramen walked off the job to protest working conditions, that two unexpected firearm discharges occurred days before the shooting, and that live ammunition was permitted on set.

Baldwin claims in the arbitration request that Hutchins told him to cock the gun which then fired live ammunition.

“This is a rare case where the system went down, and someone should be held legally responsible for the tragic consequences,” according to the filing.

“That person is not Alec Baldwin. October 21 was also the worst day of Alec Baldwin’s life. That day has and will continue to haunt Baldwin.”

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Aaron Dyer, attorney for Baldwin and other “Rust” producers, previously said the actor and others were cooperating with authorities to determine how live ammunition was used on set.

Baldwin’s legal filing denies responsibility for a series of actions that allegedly culminated in the fatal shooting.

The actor “didn’t announce that the gun was ‘cold’ when it actually contained live ammunition; he did not load the weapon; he did not check the bullets in the gun; he didn’t buy the bullets; did not make the balls and state that they were dummies; he was not responsible for gun safety on set; he did not hire the people who provided the bullets or checked the gun; and he had no role in the management of the film’s props,” the filing reads.

“Each of this work was done by someone else.”

Arbitration is an alternative method of settling a dispute between a worker and an employer. Arbitration takes place before a neutral decision maker called an arbitrator or, in some cases, a panel of arbitrators who will listen to each party and make a decision on the case.

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