Rust Movie Productions (RMP) has opposed a citation by the New Mexico Department of the Environment (NMED) stating that it “intentionally” violated safety protocols on the set of the western.
He denied the company was an “employer” responsible for overseeing the set or specific procedures, including the maintenance and loading of weapons on the set.
This comes after a report of cinematographer Halyana Hutchins’ fatal shooting found that the production company was “aware that firearms safety procedures were not being followed on set” and “demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety”. .
After a six-month investigation into the incident, RMP was fined US$136,793 (£104,810), the maximum permissible by state law in New Mexico.
Ms Hutchins was murdered on the set of the Western film in October last year after a prop gun actor Alec Baldwin was discharged.
Director Joel Souza was also injured in the shooting on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set near Santa Fe.
In new filings opposing the citation, lawyers argued that the law allows filmmakers to delegate “critical tasks” such as firearms safety to “experts in that field” and that the responsibility did not lie with the producers.
Documents obtained by the PA news agency also argued that NMED exhibited a “misunderstanding” of the film industry.
“The RMP was not the ’employer’ responsible for overseeing the film set, much less for overseeing specific protocols such as the maintenance and loading of weapons,” the filing said.
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“The law appropriately allows producers to delegate such critical tasks as firearms safety to experts in that field and does not place such responsibility on producers whose expertise is responsible for arranging financing and contracts for the logistics of filming.” is in.
“RMP did not ‘intentionally’ violate any security protocols, and in fact enforced all applicable security protocols.”
The documents stated that all actors handling firearms received proper training and that additional security restrictions were implemented to protect a child actor on set.
He said assistant directors were instructed to hold security meetings on all days when firearms were to be used, and the morning of a fatal shooting.
Lawyers also argued that, contrary to NMED’s findings, the workload on the film’s armor Hannah Gutierrez-Reid was not “overburdened”, but “did not do her job properly”.
Lawyers for Gutierrez Reid said the NMED report shows that Armorer “was not given sufficient time or resources to conduct its work effectively, despite the concerns raised”.
“Seriously, OSHA also determined that production failed to allow Hannah to perform her armor duties and inspect the firearm just prior to use at the immediate scene with Baldwin,” he said in a statement. said in the statement.
“As we’ve said before, this tragedy could have been prevented if someone from the production had called Hannah back to church before the scene to consult with her.”
Lawyers for Baldwin said they were “grateful” to the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau following publication of the report, saying it “innocents” the actor.
NMED has been contacted for comment.