Alec Baldwin's 'Rust' issued maximum citation for 'avoidable death'

"By failing to follow these practices, an avoidable loss of life occurred," the report said.
Alec Baldwin speaks for the first time regarding the accidental shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, and wounded director Joel Souza on the set of the film "Rust", on October 30, 2021 in Manchester, Vermont. The actor, his wife and children pulled over to the side of the road and gave an unscheduled statement after being pursued by photographers and members of the press. (Photo by MEGA/GC Images)

The production company for the movie "Rust" has been issued the maximum legal fine after actor Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The New Mexico Environment Department issued a "Willful-Serious citation" fine of more than $135,000 to Rust Movie Productions, LLC, for "plain indifference to the recognized hazards associated with the use of firearms on set that resulted in a fatality, severe injury, and unsafe working conditions."

Hutchins died and director Joel Souza was injured in October when Baldwin, who was also a producer of "Rust," rehearsed with a gun on set.

The film's producers "failed to follow" film firearm guidelines or "take other effective measures to protect workers," the New Mexico agency wrote in the report Wednesday.

"By failing to follow these practices, an avoidable loss of life occurred," the department added.

"Our investigation found that this tragic incident never would have happened if Rust Movie Productions, LLC had followed national film industry standards for firearm safety," Environment Cabinet Secretary James Kenney said. "This is a complete failure of the employer to follow recognized national protocols that keep employees safe."

The production company has 15 business days to either pay the fine or contest the citation.

Baldwin claimed in a filing last month that he was not responsible for the tragedy on the set.