The Rust film-production company, Rust Movie Productions, has been fined $136,793 for a Willful-Serious citation related to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. According to a news release from the New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (OHSB), this fine is the highest level of citation and maximum fine allowable by state law in New Mexico. The production company was fined for “the plain indifference to the recognized hazards associated with the use of firearms on set.” The citation also stated that the production failed to follow safety guidelines, like daily safety meetings when a gun is on set, resulting in a “fatality, severe injury, and unsafe working conditions” and an “avoidable loss of life occurred.” “Our investigation found that this tragic incident never would have happened if Rust Movie Productions, LLC had followed national film industry standards for firearm safety,” said New Mexico Environment Department cabinet secretary James Kenney in a video statement. “This is a complete failure of the employer to follow recognized national protocols that keep employees safe.”
Rust star and producer Alec Baldwin, who was holding the gun that fired, killing Hutchins, is currently being sued alongside other Rust producers by her widower, Matthew Hutchins. Matthew’s lawyer claimed in the lawsuit that the “reckless behavior and cost cutting” of Baldwin and others named in the lawsuit “led to the senseless and tragic death of Halyna Hutchins.” A criminal investigation into the shooting by Santa Fe law enforcement is on-going.