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09 May 2023

Rust movie medic gets £910,000 settlement for trauma over Alec Baldwin fatal shooting

09 May 2023

A US judge has approved a 1.15 million dollar (£910,000) settlement between a medic who worked on the Rust film set and one of several defendants she accused of negligence over the fatal shooting of a cinematographer by Alec Baldwin during a rehearsal.

Court records in New Mexico show the partial settlement between Cherlyn Schaefer and prop master Sarah Zachry was approved during a hearing on Monday.

Ms Schaefer told the judge there is not a day that goes by when she does not think about what happened, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

In her civil complaint, Ms Schaefer said she fought desperately in a failed attempt to save cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, and the shock, trauma and emotional distress that followed have made it impossible for her to continue working in her field.

Prosecutors dismissed an involuntary manslaughter charge against actor and producer Baldwin last month, citing new evidence and the need for more time to investigate.

State District Judge Kathleen McGarry Ellenwood had entered a default judgment against Zachry in November after the film worker failed to file responses within court deadlines.

Zachry’s current lawyer, Nathan Winger, told the court on Monday that his predecessor, William Waggoner, let deadlines pass without her permission, and she intends to seek damages from him to fund her settlement with Ms Schaefer. Mr Waggoner disputes the claim.

Justin Rodriguez, one of several lawyers representing Ms Schaefer, said the settlement “is a small portion of what we expect to receive in the future”.

The remaining defendants include Rust Movie Productions, weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director David Halls, but not Baldwin.

Ms Schaefer’s complaint claims Zachry and Gutierrez-Reed failed to ensure there were no live rounds in Baldwin’s weapon.

An involuntary manslaughter charge remains pending against Gutierrez-Reed, but her lawyers have said they expect her to be exonerated.

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