Alec Baldwin Fatal Shooting: The Liability and Other Legal Issues

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Screenshot of Miguel Custodio in Newsy interview

The fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins by actor Alec Baldwin on the set of “Rust” last week raises all kinds of questions about the production’s safety, liability and other legal issues, which will come to bear in the aftermath of this tragedy.

Reporters from USA Today, Newsy, The Daily Beast, CourtTV, The Wrap and Telemundo were among those who sought out firm co-founder Miguel Custodio’s experience and insight to bring perspective and context to their breaking news coverage.

From USA Today:

“The expansion and fortification of safety policies, whether within Hollywood or in the code of law more broadly, may be a way for some good to come out of the tragedy, Custodio says.

"I think it's time for Hollywood to really get tough and prevent these deaths that could have easily been prevented."

From Newsy:

“As a producer, (Alec Baldwin) is definitely on the hook since he is at the top of the ladder in terms of everything that (went) on in this production and that is where I think the focus is going to be with regards to any potential lawsuits. Although he can still be sued as an actor, I think the focus will be on him as a producer.”

From The Daily Beast:

“Overall, this is horrible negligence and Ms. Hutchins’ survivors should go after everyone they can,” Custodio said. “She was 42 and had an incredibly promising future, so her potential earnings were likely to be significant. It’s also clear that somebody failed her in the most basic way—to check whether a gun was safe—and may be criminally negligent.”

From CourtTV:

“We have negligence in different aspects, going from the armorer to the assistant director. Every day we’re hearing more and more news about this set being in total chaos.”

From CNBC:

On Tuesday, the producers of “Rust” hired a high-profile law firm to interview cast and crew about the on-set shooting, a move that personal injury lawyer Miguel Custodio sees as the start of an aggressive defense.

“They will try to show that the producers are not liable, that the shooting comes down to aberrations or uncommon behavior displayed by individuals such as the assistant director or armorer,” he said. “They will also try to show that the film production did nothing wrong in hiring these two individuals.”

See other coverage on Telemundo’s national news analysis program Al Rojo Vivo, Fox Business, Gawker and more, which you can find here on Custodio & Dubey LLP.