The medic who rushed to help “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins after Hutchins was shot on set last fall has filed a negligence lawsuit against several crew members and the film’s production entity.
Cherlyn Schaefer was summoned to the church building at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, N.M., on Oct. 21, after the film’s star, Alec Baldwin, shot Hutchins and director Joel Souza while preparing for a scene. Schaefer attended to Hutchins until a helicopter arrived, supplying her with oxygen and applying direct pressure to Hutchins’ wound.
In the suit, Schaefer alleges she has suffered “tremendous shock, trauma and severe emotional distress” as a result of Hutchins’ death, and has been medically unable to return to work.
Schaefer is the fourth crew member to file suit following the shooting. The suit alleges negligence on the part of several crew members who were tasked with handling firearms, including armorer Hannah Reed Gutierrez, first assistant director Dave Halls, ammunition supplier Seth Kenney and prop master Sarah Zachry.
The suit also names Bonanza Creek Ranch and Rust Movie Productions LLC as defendants — though it does not accuse Baldwin or any of the other producers individually.
Serge Svetnoy, the film’s gaffer, and Mamie Mitchell, the script supervisor, have previously filed suit. Both of them were in the room when the gun was fired, and allege they suffered physical and emotional damages.
In the Mitchell suit, the producers have countered that the shooting was a workplace accident, and that as such it should be handled through the New Mexico workers compensation system. Schaefer’s suit alleges she was not directly employed by the production, but rather by Media Services Processing LLC.
Gutierrez Reed has also filed suit against Kenney, alleging that he was to blame for the shooting because he supplied her with both dummy and live rounds. Hutchins’ estate has taken a preliminary step toward a lawsuit, but has yet to file.