‘Rust’ Assistant Director Takes Aim at Alec Baldwin Countersuit

The assistant director who allegedly handed Alec Baldwin the prop weapon that discharged and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film “Rust” in New Mexico in 2021 obtained a split ruling Friday in his bid to win dismissal of two of the three claims the actor has filed against him in a countersuit.

David Halls’ motion asked that Baldwin’s claims against him for equitable indemnification and contribution be dismissed, but Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael E. Whitaker tossed only the contribution allegation. The judge also denied Halls’ separate request to strike Baldwin’s claim for punitive damages, noting that Halls was responsible for the safe handling of guns on the set.

“Halls breached his duty as assistant director in numerous ways, including by either failing to adequately check the chamber of the weapon or failing to raise any concern as to what he saw and proceeding to declare a gun cold despite any assurance that it was in fact cold, which led to live ammunition being loaded into Baldwin’s weapon,” the judge wrote. “Halls also breached his duty of care by neglecting his duties as safety coordinator and failing to hold the required safety briefings and to distribute the necessary safety protocols.”



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