Two `Rust' Producers Ask to be Dismissed as Defendants in Lawsuit

Local 600 International Cinematographers Guild Hosts Candlelight Vigil Honoring Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Lawyers for two of the producers sued by a script supervisor who was standing next to cinematographer Halyna Hutchins when she was fatally shot with a prop weapon fired by actor Alec Baldwin on the set of the film ``Rust'' are asking a judge to remove their clients as defendants in the case.

The attorneys for Anjul Nigam and Brittany House Pictures state in court papers brought Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court that there are insufficient facts to support plaintiff Mamie Mitchell's claims for assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, deliberate infliction of harm and negligence as those allegations pertain to the two defendants.

``Defendants are not mentioned in the factual allegations, much less alleged to have been directly involved in any of the alleged conduct,'' the two producers' attorneys state in their court papers. ``The only allegation against Anjul Nigam and Brittany House Pictures is that they were producers of the film `Rust.'''

Nigam was involved in the financing of the film during pre-production and his job was finished before the shooting of ``Rust'' began last Oct. 6, according to the two producers' attorneys' court papers.

Meanwhile, attorneys for other producers named as defendants in the suit --  Rust Movie Productions LLC, Thomasville Pictures LLC, Ryan Smith and Langley Cheney -- filed court papers Wednesday asking that Mitchell's claim for punitive damages against their clients be stricken.

``To the extent there was a discharge of a live bullet during filming it was obviously accidental,'' those producers' attorneys argue in their court papers.

Hearings on the motions are scheduled June 2 before Judge Michael E. Whitaker.

Mitchell's original suit was filed Nov. 17, alleging that she was ``standing in the line of fire when the gun went off.'' She then filed an amended suit on Feb. 8. The 64-year-old Baldwin is one of the defendants.

Hutchins, 42, was killed on Oct. 21 while Baldwin, a producer and star of ``Rust,'' was helping to prepare camera angles for a scene on the film's set near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Baldwin, 63, fired a weapon which was supposed to contain only blank rounds but discharged a lead bullet that struck Hutchins in the chest then lodged in the shoulder of director Joel Souza, 48.

Mitchell's suit alleges specific wrongdoing by Baldwin, claiming he fired the weapon during the rehearsal ``even though the upcoming scene to be filmed did not call for the cocking and firing of a firearm.''

``Alec Baldwin intentionally, without just cause or excuse, fired the gun towards individuals, including plaintiff, Ms. Hutchins and Mr. Souza, even though protocol was not to do so,'' according to the lawsuit.

The suit also claims Baldwin should have assumed the gun was loaded unless ``it was demonstrated to him or checked by him'' that it was not loaded.

The lawsuit also alleges Baldwin ``failed to check the gun to see if the firearm was loaded.''

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