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Settlement approved in wrongful death suit against Alec Baldwin

A New Mexico judge has approved a settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit between Alec Baldwin and the family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed by accidental gunfire while working on the set of the western flick “Rust” almost two years ago.

Baldwin was rehearsing a scene inside the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., when he mistakenly shot Hutchins on Oct. 21, 2021. The film’s director, Joel Souza, was also struck in the shoulder. The leading man was seated in a church pew, practicing a move in which he whips a pistol from its holster, when it suddenly went off.

In wake of the tragedy, Hutchins’ husband, Matthew, filed a wrongful death suit against “Rust” producers, including Baldwin, as well as members of the film crew with safety responsibilities and an ammunition supplier. The couple’s son, Andros Hutchins, who was 9 at the time of the shooting, is also listed as a plaintiff. It accuses the defendants of ignoring industry gun safety rules while on set, allegations they have all denied.

The details of the settlement, as well as documents and materials related to the settlement, have been sealed and are not available to the public. The judge cited privacy concerns for Hutchins’ son when announcing the decision.

“What is driving my decision is really the interests of the minor child. And that is one of the very most powerful reasons to seal a matter,” said District Court Judge Bryan Biedscheid, in a videoconference hearing of the Santa Fe-based court.

In October, Matthew Hutchins revealed a settlement had been reached in the suit pending approval. At the time he said it would allow for “Rust” to resume production while he joined as an executive producer.

The flick finally finished filming back in May.

A sign directs people to the road that leads to the Bonanza Creek Ranch where the movie "Rust" is being filmed on October 22, 2021 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

At least five other civil lawsuits related to Halyna Hutchins’ death are pending in courts.

The final approval of the settlement comes little more than a month after New Mexico prosecutors formally dropped charges against Baldwin in connection with Hutchins’s death, concluding that “new facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis.”

The actor had been charged with involuntary manslaughter in January.

With News Wire Services

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