Halyna Hutchins family retains legal counsel, will reportedly file wrongful death lawsuit

Halyna Hutchins family retains legal counsel, will reportedly file wrongful death lawsuit

Halyna Hutchins’ husband has retained legal representation and reportedly plans to file a wrongful death suit following the accidental shooting incident on the set of “Rust.” 

Hutchins was killed on the set of the indie-western in New Mexico on Oct. 21 after a gun that was being held by actor Alec Baldwin somehow went off, firing a live round that killed the cinematographer and wounded director Joel Souza. In the wake of the tragedy, authorities are investigating the incident and whether or not criminal charges are in order for any of the parties involved. 

Meanwhile, a representative for Hutchins’ family confirmed to Fox News on Wednesday that her husband, Matt, has retained the legal counsel of Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi with Brian Panish acting as lead lawyer. 

The statement noted that the lawyers did not plan to issue any official statement at this time regarding what their plans are in terms of any kind of legal case. However, The group’s website notes that they specialize in personal injury and wrongful death suits. 

Matt is a lawyer himself. Reuters reports that he works in corporate law out of the L.A. office of Latham & Watkins. He also has a background in entertainment law.

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Halyna Hutchins was a rising star in the cinematography world when she was hit with a projectile on set that ultimately killed her.

Halyna Hutchins was a rising star in the cinematography world when she was hit with a projectile on set that ultimately killed her. (Photo by Fred Hayes/Getty Images for SAGindie)

Sources familiar with the situation reportedly told TMZ that the plan is to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of Matt and their 9-year-old son. There will reportedly be multiple defendants in the case, the outlet notes.

The news comes after the set’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, made explosive claims through her attorneys that a live round was introduced into a box of dummy rounds intentionally by a disgruntled crew member.

Speaking on the “Today” show Wednesday, Gutierrez Reed’s attorneys, Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence, claimed that the bullets their client loaded into the gun on the day of the shooting were taken from a box that was only supposed to contain dummy rounds that were incapable of firing. 

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However, because the ammunition was left unattended from roughly 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day, they believe the opportunity was there for a disgruntled crew member to mix a live round into the box in an effort to sabotage the set.

Halyna Hutchins family is reportedly going to file a wrongful death suit following her death on the set of ‘Rust.’

Halyna Hutchins family is reportedly going to file a wrongful death suit following her death on the set of ‘Rust.’ (Mat Hayward/Getty Images for AMC Networks)

“We don’t know, however, whether that live round came from that box,” Bowles said. “We’re assuming it did. We’re assuming somebody put that live round in that box, which, if you think about that, the person who put the live round in the box of dummy rounds had to have the purpose of sabotaging the set. There’s no other reason you would do that. That you would mix that live round with the dummy rounds.”

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The attorneys stopped short of making an allegation against anyone, calling the idea of intentional sabotage just one of many working theories that they are investigating. Indeed, several camera crew members walked out the morning of the shooting incident. 

An aerial view of the film set on Bonanza Creek Ranch where Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

An aerial view of the film set on Bonanza Creek Ranch where Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (Reuters)

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The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department has not commented on these allegations and no suspects have been named in any criminal charges. However, Sheriff Adan Mendoza previously said that the focus of the investigation right now is on finding out how live rounds made it to a set where they were not supposed to be present at all.