Alec Baldwin ‘inseparable’ from ‘Rust’ shooting as he faces wrongful death lawsuit, legal experts weigh in

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It's "a waiting game" when it comes to whether or not Alec Baldwin will see the inside of a courtroom regarding the wrongful death lawsuit he is now facing, according to legal experts.

Baldwin, 63, and others were named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by cinematographer Halyna Hutchins' family Tuesday. Hutchins died on the set of "Rust" on Oct. 21 after a gun Baldwin was holding discharged.

Baldwin was named in the lawsuit because he is "inseparable" from the shooting of Hutchins, Rachel Fiset, managing partner of LA-based law firm Zweiback, Fiset & Coleman, told Fox News Digital.

"Alec Baldwin is inseparable from this incident on the set of 'Rust.' Not only was he the shooter and the closest association with the ‘cause’ of her ‘wrongful death,’ but he is also a big-name producer," Fiset, who is not involved in the case, explained. "In those roles, it is almost inescapable that any negligence or recklessness shown on the set will be tied to him — if not legally, then professionally and reputationally."

It's a ‘waiting game’ when it comes to whether or not Alec Baldwin will see the inside of a courtroom as he faces a wrongful death lawsuit. (Fox News Digital)


The Hutchins family is suing for punitive damages, funeral and burial expenses, among other things to be determined at a trial. However, according to some legal experts, it's unlikely that the wrongful death lawsuit will ever see a courtroom, as "most" civil cases in general settle outside of a courthouse.

"It's unlikely," former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani, who is also not involved in the case, told Fox News Digital. "One or 2% of [civil] cases go to trial."

In addition to civil cases not really making it to court in general, the attorney said that when it comes to the "Rust" lawsuit specifically, he believes people "with these kinds of assets" will "pay to make it go away."

Meanwhile, criminal defense attorney Duncan Levin – who is not involved in the suit either – told Fox News Digital that it's too early to tell if the lawsuit will be settled out of a courtroom.

"A vast minority of cases go to trial,' Levin said. "Most settle, but at this point, it's too early to tell. If he is charged with and convicted of a crime, it is far more likely that the case will settle, as losing a criminal case would mean he'd lose a civil as well."

California-based criminal defense attorney Lara Yeretsian advised that Baldwin's lawyers should settle the lawsuit "swiftly."

"The best thing that Alec Baldwin’s lawyers can do for him is to very swiftly settle this case," Yeretsian, who is also not involved, told Fox News Digital. "After all there’s still an ongoing criminal investigation, and although highly unlikely, Alec Baldwin may still be charged criminally."

The criminal investigation is still ongoing, with the most recent development being the retrieval of Baldwin's cellphone by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department. The sheriff's office had no comment on the wrongful death lawsuit when reached by Fox News Digital.

"The investigation remains open and ongoing," Juan Rios, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office, said in a statement.

Lauryn Overhultz Fox News