Alec Baldwin's Attorney Denies Claim Actor Was 'Reckless' in 'Rust' Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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Alec Baldwin's lawyers released a statement just hours after Halyna Hutchins' estate filed a wrongful death lawsuit against him and the producers of Rust, calling the "reckless" claims against them as "entirely false."

In a statement to ET, lawyers for Baldwin and the Rust producers named in the lawsuit say Baldwin, Hutchins "and the rest of the crew relied on the statement by the two professionals responsible for checking the gun that it was a 'cold gun' -- meaning there is no possibility of a discharge, blank or otherwise."

The lawyers say the protocol "has worked on thousands of films, with millions of discharges, as there has never before been an incident on a set where an actual bullet harmed anyone." The statement went on to say that "actors should be able to rely on armorers and prop department professionals, as well as assistant directors, rather than deciding on their own when a gun is safe to us."

"Any claim that Alec was reckless is entirely false," the statement also said.

In legal documents, obtained by ET, the Hutchins estate claims in the wrongful death suit that the "defendants had the power to prevent her death if they had only held sacrosanct their duty to protect the safety of every individual on a set where firearms were present instead of cutting corners on safety procedures where human lives were at stake, rushing to stay on schedule and ignoring numerous complaints of safety violations."

Some of the cost-cutting measures the estate claims Baldwin and production undertook included "hiring inexperienced and unqualified armorers or weapons masters, requiring the film’s armorer to split time as assistant props master, establishing and aggressively adhering to unreasonably rushed production schedules, and hiring unqualified and inexperienced crew and staff that were responsible for safety during the production."

According to the lawsuit, "the most basic firearm safety rule in the movie industry is that there must never be live ammunition (containing bullets, gunpowder, and a live primer) on a movie set, as live ammunition could mistakenly be loaded into a gun."

Hutchins' estate claims that because "Baldwin and the others involved in the Rust Production did not follow industry protocols and basic gun safety rules, a live round containing a .45 caliber bullet was in the revolver held by Defendant Baldwin at the time of the shooting, ready to be fired, and Defendant Baldwin caused that bullet to be discharged directly at Ms. Hutchins."

Hutchins died in October after a prop gun was discharged on the film's set. Baldwin was holding the gun at the time, and he has since publicly stated that he did not pull the trigger. The film's director, Joel Souza, was also wounded in the shooting.

"Everyone’s hearts and thoughts remain with Halyna’s family as they continue to process this unspeakable tragedy," the statement for Baldwin and Rust production continued. "We continue to cooperate with the authorities to determine how live ammunition arrived on the Rust set in the first place."

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