‘Rust’ Shooting: Set Medic Files New Lawsuit Against Armorer

by Samantha Whidden

Just a few months after the deadly incident that occurred on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film Rust, a set medic has now reportedly filed a lawsuit against the armorer.

As previously reported, the incident happened in October 2021. When cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died when a gun being used as a prop was discharged by Baldwin while the production team was preparing for a scene. The film’s writer and director Joel Souza was also injured during the incident. The firearm was not properly inspected prior to being placed on the set.

According to the DailyMail, Rust medic Cherlyn Schaeffer has filed a lawsuit against armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Red and assistant director Dave Halls. The medic claims in the lawsuit that it was due to Gutierrez-Reed and Halls’ negligence. This led to Baldwin holding a gun with a live round. Along with Gutierrez-Reed and Hall, others in the lawsuit include the film’s production company and prop mastery Sarah Zachry. 

The Rust medic also states that the incident caused her so much emotional distress that she is unable to work. She claims she’s medically unable to return to the profession or any other job. The lawsuit notes that Schaeffer still suffers from tremendous shock, trauma, and severe emotional distress. She is allegedly the first person to offer medical assistance to Hutchins and she first called 9-1-1. 

Schaeffer further assisted Hutchins by applying pressure to the gunshot wound while giving oxygen and vital checks. She ordered a medical helicopter that rushed the Rust cinematographer to the hospital. Tragically, Hutchins succumbed to her injury. 

However, Baldwin is not in the lawsuit. Zachry is in the lawsuit because she should have known that the gun contained live ammo.

‘Rust’ Cinematographer Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Next Mexico 

The lawsuit from Schaeffer comes one week after Halyna Hutchins’ family began to move forward to file a wrongful death lawsuit in New Mexico. Santa Fe attorney, Kristina Martinez, petitioned to present the Rust cinematographer’s estate. Martinez revealed in the petition that she is seeking to serve as a personal representative of the estate. This is solely for the purpose of investigating and pursuing a lawsuit under the New Mexico Death Act. 

The Rust cinematographer leaves behind her husband Matthew and their 9-year-old son. Representing Hutchins’ survivors is Brian Panish of Panish, Shea, Boyle & Ravipudi in Los Angeles.

Hutchins’ family lawsuit is the third lawsuit against Rust producers. The first lawsuit came from Serge Svetnoy, the film’s chief electrician. That lawsuit does include Baldwin and the film’s other producers for negligence. The producers are in the lawsuit because they failed to implement safety standards. The production team notably allowed the gun on set without proper inspection to make sure it didn’t have live ammunition.