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'complete failure'

Alec Baldwin movie Rust's production company hit with maximum fine after cinematographer's death

The production company behind the Alec Baldwin movie Rust has been hit with the maximum fine allowed under the law after the film's cinematographer was fatally shot on set. 

Rust Movie Productions LLC was fined $136,793 on Wednesday as the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau released a report into the production's alleged safety violations, CBS News and CNN report.

The report faulted the production for having a "plain indifference to the safety of employees by ignoring recognized hazards inherent to the use of firearms and ammunition." 

In October 2021, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed after a gun Baldwin was handling unexpectedly went off during rehearsal. The actor has denied responsibility for Hutchins' death, saying he never pulled the trigger of the gun. Hutchins' husband is suing Baldwin and others involved with the film, alleging "reckless behavior and cost-cutting" led to her death.

New Mexico officials recommended a "willful-serious citation" for the production company. Its report concluded the production failed to take "appropriate corrective or investigative actions" after two previous incidents on set involving firearm misfires. Further, the report said the production "failed to follow company safety procedures, which likely would have prevented the accident from occurring." 

For instance, the production allegedly did not "develop a process to ensure live rounds were not brought onto set" and didn't provide the armorer time to "thoroughly inventory ammunition." OHSB also said safety meetings weren't conducted each day that firearms were used. 

"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.

Rust Movie Productions told CBS News it disagrees with the report's conclusions and plans to appeal.