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If the deceased cinematographer is considered an employee of the production company, then workers' compensation coverage applies. However, it may not be that straightforward. Workers' compensation pays for accidental injuries that arise out of and in the course of employment. So far, so good. However, many states have exceptions when willful misconduct or safety rule violations result in an accident. (Credit: Sam Wasson/Bloomberg) If the deceased cinematographer is considered an employee of the production company, then workers’ compensation coverage applies. However, it may not be that straightforward. Workers’ compensation pays for accidental injuries that arise out of and in the course of employment. So far, so good. However, many states have exceptions when willful misconduct or safety rule violations result in an accident. (Credit: Sam Wasson/Bloomberg)

In late October 2021, tragedy struck on the set of the movie “Rust” when live rounds were mistakenly fired, killing one person and injuring another. With a variety of coverages possibly at play in this devastating event, here is a comprehensive look at the way different insurance policies could be involved. Note that we have no inside information regarding this tragedy; our list below is based on our knowledge of the many policies that could be involved in similar tragedies.

First, some background on the incident: Sixteen crew and cast members were working in a church at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a popular filming location in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Joel Souza, the director, huddled behind cinematographer Halyna Hutchins lining up possible camera shots. Armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed prepared three guns serving as props and placed them on a cart for use by the actors.

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