Alec Baldwin’s Rust Set Accused Of Gun Injury In 2006
Alec Baldwin has been in the news recently after a shooting on his set caused the death of a production worker. While Baldwin fired the pistol, the negligence is believed to have been committed by the props director who failed to check the gun before it was placed into Baldwin’s hands. The problem for Baldwin is that his production company hired the props director after union workers organized a strike. It is believed that the props director was underqualified for the task, failed to recognize the real gun, and ultimately cost someone their life.
The death brings attention to the growing dispute between Hollywood’s movie workers’ unions and production companies. It also raises issues as to whether or not the production company cut corners and costs by hiring an underqualified worker during a work stoppage. If so, the production company will be held liable for the wrongful death. Gross negligence allegations are not outside the realm of possibility.
Incident in 2006
An incident in 2006 at the same set led to a personal injury lawsuit filed against Baldwin’s production firm. The lawsuit stated that an individual who was signed on as a gunfight reenactor fired a weapon dangerously close to a live music performer’s head causing permanent hearing loss. The gunfight reenactor was visibly drunk at the time and had his weapon visible. He was using the weapon irresponsibly when he fired it near the musician’s head. The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice after the parties reached an undisclosed settlement amount.
Even if the production company had hired a qualified union worker, the company could still be held liable for the death. The additional allegations are meant to show just how badly the production company erred in hiring underqualified staff to handle dangerous props. The company hired an unqualified worker to handle dangerous weapons. The worker failed to check the weapon to ensure that it was a prop and not real. The weapon killed someone. Hence, the company’s negligence supersedes that of its employee’s. Typically, the company would be vicariously liable for any mistake made by an employee, but the company can also be held liable for placing an unqualified employee into a position where they are entrusted with dangerous property. The latter allegation is stronger because it shows how the production company erred. An allegation of vicarious liability means that the employer is automatically liable for the conduct of their employee. It is not an allegation (necessarily) against the company itself.
Because allegations can be made against the company for cutting corners to save money, the negligence can be considered gross negligence on the basis of negligent entrustment. It’s a strong allegation to make, but could avail the grieving family of punitive damages against Baldwin’s company. Obviously, this will cost them a lot more money than hiring union workers.
Talk to a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of Alec Baldwin, his production company, or any of his employees, call a seasoned litigator who can make the most of your claim by fighting for the maximum settlement award. Call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at Palmer | Lopez today for a free consultation. We can help.