Halyna Hutchins's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Tuesday against Alec Baldwin and others whose "reckless behavior and cost-cutting" on Rust led to her "senseless and tragic death." The lawsuit was filed in New Mexico on behalf of Matthew Hutchins, Halyna's husband of 16 years, and their 9-year-old son. Baldwin is denying fault through his attorney.
Attorney Brian Panish held a press conference in Los Angeles after officially filing the lawsuit on behalf of the Hutchins family. He called out Baldwin and other producers "for numerous violations" of industry safety standards on set. A 3D video was played for the media that Panish claimed was a reenactment of the shooting. He said they undertook their own investigation and spoke to a number of witnesses who revealed what happened on Oct. 21, when Hutchins was killed after a gun Baldwin was holding discharged.
Panish said they are seeking "substantial" and "fair" compensation as Matthew "lost his long-term wife who was the love of his life, and his son has lost a mother."
"It is a young boy who will never have a mother," Panish said during a Q&A. "We need to hold the people responsible that engaged in this cost-cutting and reckless behavior causing this senseless death... it never should have happened."
Panish noted they "have found no evidence" of sabotage, as attorneys for armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed initially suggested. He added it's still being looked at how a live round ended up on set.
"Alec had the gun in his hand, he shot it, Halyna was killed," Panish said. "The gun cannot fire unless the trigger is engaged and the hammer is back."
"We don't think the weapon is what caused this," Panish added. "The weapon was made to fire — it fired."
When asked if Baldwin is the person "most culpable," Panish said there are "many people culpable" before singling out the actor and Rust producer.
"Mr. Baldwin was the person holding the weapon that, but for him shooting it, she would not have died. So clearly, he has significant portion of liability but there are others and that's what this case is gonna be about," Panish continued.
The complaint alleges that at least 15 industry standards were disregarded on set, like how Baldwin did not accept the revolver from the armorer and that industry standards require him to use a replica gun or rubber prop gun whenever possible. Other defendants in the complaint include Gutierrez-Reed; props master Sarah Zachry; armorer assistant Seth Kenney; first assistant director David Halls and other producers.
Baldwin previously said he expected a wrongful death lawsuit to be filed by Hutchins's widow. Baldwin's attorney Aaron Dyer, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, said on Tuesday afternoon "any claim that Alec was reckless is entirely false."
"Everyone's hearts and thoughts remain with Halyna's family as they continue to process this unspeakable tragedy," Dyer, who represents Baldwin and other Rust producers, tells Yahoo Entertainment. "We continue to cooperate with the authorities to determine how live ammunition arrived on the Rust set in the first place."
No criminal charges have been filed against Baldwin or anyone involved in the case.
"[Baldwin], Halyna 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 statement continues. "This 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. 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 use."
Baldwin seemingly addressed the situation on Instagram later on Tuesday.
[Editor's note: This post was originally published on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 2:28 p.m. ET and has been updated to include Baldwin's statement and Instagram post.]
MORE: Alec Baldwin returns to film set for the first time since fatal shooting