Lawsuit & Punitive Damages Against Baldwin, Rust Producers to Proceed

In a clear victory for Rust script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael E. Whitaker ruled on November 1, 2022 that Mitchell’s lawsuit could proceed against Alec Baldwin for punitive damages and intentional causes of action, including assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. 

This latest courtroom win by Ms. Mitchell’s legal team, including attorneys at the law firms of Carpenter & Zuckerman and Allred, Maroko & Goldberg, follows previous rulings that have already cleared the path for Ms. Mitchell to proceed with legal action against various Rust producers. Ms. Mitchell is pursuing negligence claims and punitive damages against various Rust producers, in addition to her claims against Baldwin.

Judge Clears Path for Mitchell to Proceed with Case Against Baldwin 

Ms. Mitchell’s civil lawsuit stems from Baldwin’s October 21, 2021 fatal firing of a loaded gun while on the film set of the motion picture Rust. Baldwin’s discharge of the deadly weapon killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.  At the time Badlwin fired the weapon, Ms. Mitchelll was standing just 4 feet from him and in close proximity to Ms. Hutchins.

During the November 1, 2022 court hearing, Carpenter & Zuckerman trial lawyer Carlos Hernandez successfully argued the merits of Ms. Mitchell’s claims before Judge Whitaker. 

The specific claims against Baldwin include:

  • Assault 

  • Negligence

  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress 

The specific claims against Baldwin’s production company, El Dorado Pictures, include:

  • Negligence

At the November 1st hearing, Judge Whitaker also struck down Baldwin’s motion that would have blocked Ms. Mitchell from pursuing punitive damages against him and El Dorado Pictures. As stated in the official court order: “The court finds the second amended complaint alleges facts sufficient to establish despicable conduct carried out by the demurring defendants with a willful and conscious disregard for the rights or safety of others.”

Ms. Mitchell and her legal team at Carpenter & Zuckerman and Allred, Maroko & Goldberg are pleased with the November 1st victory and look forward to continuing the fight to hold Baldwin and Rust producers accountable for the fatal shooting. In a statement reported in the Los Angeles Times, attorney Gloria Allred said, “Ms. Mitchell looks forward to her trial and obtaining justice.”

Rust: An Ill-fated Western Set to Pioneer Industry Change

Sometimes meaningful change is forged out of tragedy. A terrible accident can be the catalyst that sparks reformation and impacts society for the better. In the Rust film case, the tragic circumstances surrounding the on-set fatal shooting of Ms. Hutchins are poised to do just that.  Holding the responsible parties accountable for the fatal Rust set shooting will save lives and prevent future on-set tragedies from occurring. 

In the year since the shooting occurred, much analysis and debate has taken place in the film industry regarding gun and ammunition safety on sets.  As reported in an October 11, 2022  Los Angeles Times article, the Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee is revising two safety bulletins in the wake of the Rust shooting. Potential revisions to Safety Bulletin #1 and Safety Bulletin #2 will reinforce the importance of establishing clear guidelines for how guns and ammunition are to be handled in the entertainment industry.

The law firm of Carpenter & Zuckerman was founded on the basis of pursuing justice for injured individuals like Ms Mitchell. Everyone at the firm, from the partners to the administrative staff, are personally motivated to advance the cause of justice. Our legal team is honored to work alongside attorney Gloria Allred to obtain justice for Ms. Mitchell, with the aim that this case will promote safer practices and policies throughout the entertainment industry.

What To Do If You Are Injured Due to Another’s Negligence

If you are injured in any type of accident — from a car accident to a slip and fall incident or any other scenario, it is important that you take certain steps to ensure you stand the greatest chance of receiving compensation for your injuries. In the event you are involved in an accident:

  • Call 911 if anyone is injured

  • File a police report and request a copy for your records

  • Photograph any injuries resulting from the accident

  • Photograph the accident scene and important documents, safety permitting

  • Gather contact information from anyone involved, as well as from witnesses

  • Do not admit fault at the scene of an accident

  • Seek a medical evaluation to determine the extent of your injuries

  • Consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible

Injured In an Accident? CZ Law Stands Ready to Fight For You!

The law firm of Carpenter & Zuckerman was founded on the principle that justice for the injured is far more important than insurance company profits. Our experienced team of true trial lawyers are well-versed in litigating a full range of personal injury cases, from minor slip and fall injuries to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death cases.

With more than 25 years of experience battling against large corporations and insurance companies, CZ Law is equipped to handle your personal injury case. We maintain offices in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Orange County, Bakersfield, San Diego, and Las Vegas. To date, our formidable personal injury lawyers have won more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for our deserving clients. 

If you have been injured as a result of another party’s negligence, the experienced personal injury lawyers at CZ Law can fight to secure the compensation you deserve! Contact CZ Law today at (310) 273-1230 or fill out our for a FREE consultation!

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