Advertisement

‘Rust’ script supervisor lawsuit against Alec Baldwin can proceed, judge says

Two women sit behind a desk with microphones on it.
Script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, left, with attorney Gloria Allred speaks in November 2021 about her lawsuit over the fatal shooting of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Share

Mamie Mitchell, the script supervisor on the movie “Rust,” can proceed with her lawsuit against Alec Baldwin over the fatal shooting of the film’s cinematographer in New Mexico, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael E. Whitaker concluded that Mitchell could advance her claims of assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence against the actor who accidentally fired the weapon that fatally wounded cinematographer Halyna Hutchins a year ago, according to court filings.

The judge also allowed Mitchell to pursue punitive damages against Baldwin and his finance company El Dorado Pictures.

“For pleading purposes, the Court finds the second amended complaint alleges facts sufficient to establish despicable conduct carried out by [the defendants] with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others,” Whitaker said in his ruling.

The decision marks a win for Mitchell after the same judge in September blocked most of her claims against the producers of the movie.

Mitchell was standing close to Hutchins when a bullet from Baldwin’s gun passed through the cinematographer and injured director Joel Souza

Advertisement

“The Court was required to assume at this stage that Mitchell’s allegations against Alec Baldwin were true — even though they are demonstrably false, made in bad faith, and contradict her own prior statements about what happened,” Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas said in a statement. “We are pleased the Court dismissed some of her claims and look forward to disproving the rest of her case, now that she can no longer shield her misrepresentations from the evidence.”

The litigation is one of a string of legal battles that Baldwin and the production have been battling both in California and New Mexico following the tragedy that called attention to safety hazards on film sets.

“We are pleased that the trial court’s tentative ruling has overruled Mr. Baldwin’s demurrer and permitted our client, Mamie Mitchell, to continue her lawsuit against Alec Baldwin to recover damages for the personal injuries she sustained,” Mitchell’s attorney Gloria Allred said in a statement. “Ms. Mitchell looks forward to her trial and obtaining justice.”

Last month, the family of Hutchins agreed with the producers and Baldwin to settle their case for undisclosed terms. The deal involved an agreement to complete the movie and make widower Matthew Hutchins an executive producer on “Rust” when it resumes production.

The producers and actor still face a lawsuit by “Rust” gaffer Serge Svetnoy.

Advertisement