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The producers of Rust have settled a citation from a New Mexico safety agency for numerous violations of safety protocols on the set of the low-budget western.
The New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau found in April that the movie’s producers knew that firearm safety procedures weren’t being followed on-set and demonstrated a “plain indifference’ to the welfare of cast and crew by failing to train crew on how to properly handle firearms and introducing live ammunition onto the set, among other things. It issued the highest level citation and maximum fine allowed by state law of $136,793.
Under the settlement announced on Friday, which has to be approved, the citation is downgraded from a “willful-serious” violation to “serious.” The production will pay a reduced civil penalty of $100,000.
“We are pleased to have entered into an agreement with OHSB, subject to approval, which downgrades the citation and reduces penalties,” said Melina Spadone, a lawyer for Rust Movie Productions. “Our top priority has always been resuming production and completing this film so we can honor the life and work of Halyna Hutchins. Settling this case rather than litigating is how we can best move forward to achieve that goal.”
The deal comes after producers for Rust announced on Wednesday that the movie will finish shooting this spring in Montana. The production will return with a mix of new and old crew, with Bianca Cline joining as cinematographer.
In May, the producers of rust appealed the fine by OHSB. It stressed that it wasn’t responsible for supervising the film set and that its responsibilities were limited to financing and contracting with crew and talent to make the movie.
“The crew contracted by RMP were independent contractors,” states a filing from the producer. “Where applicable, the head of each independent contractor was responsible for the individuals within his or her department (e.g., special effects, stunts, or animal wranglers).”
There are still several lawsuits working their way through the courts against Rust Movie Productions, including from script supervisor Mamie Mitchell and the parents of Halyna Hutchins.
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