A wrongful death lawsuit is filed when a death is caused by a negligent, willful, or wrongful act of another party. In Arizona, the only people who can file a wrongful death lawsuit are the parents, spouse, and/or children of the person who passed away.
On October 21, 2021, Alec Baldwin was on set in New Mexico filming for the movie “Rust” when a prop firearm discharged, shooting and killing director of photography, Halyna Hutchins. Baldwin has reported that he is cooperating fully with police and investigators to see how a tragedy such as this occurred. Detectives are now looking into what the type of projectile that was fired from the gun and what caused it to discharge in the way that it did, ultimately leading to the death of Hutchins.
Since this was not a criminal act, the death of Halyna Hutchins falls into the wrongful death category. The questions Ms. Hutchins’s family will have to answer are: Why did this prop gun fire off a real bullet? Who was in charge of ensuring the prop gun only used “blanks”? Did someone tamper with the gun before the scene was filmed? Did someone fail to take the proper safety precautions?
It is easy for the public to jump to conclusions about why this terrible tragedy occurred. It is also easy to blame Alec Baldwin, since he was the one holding and firing the “gun.” In reality, wrongful death suits are not always that straight forward. The negligent party is the one who knew or should have known that the prop gun was actually loaded with a live bullet. If Mr. Baldwin had no reason to know that information, he was not negligent. This is what a wrongful death lawyer is for. That is why it is important you find a lawyer who has significant experience litigating a wrongful death lawsuit.
For more information on how Snyder & Wenner can help you or your family in a wrongful death lawsuit, contact us today.