'Rust' Insurance Policy Limits Coverage to $6 Million ... For Injury or Death

Halyna Hutchins' family is almost certainly gearing up for a wrongful death lawsuit -- in the wake of her death on the set of the movie "Rust" -- and TMZ has learned the insurance policy that covered the production is limited to $6 million.

We obtained the certificate of insurance written by Front Row Insurance Brokers. General liability coverage is limited to $1 million per occurrence. There is also a commercial umbrella policy -- which is a supplement to the general liability coverage -- for an additional $5 million.

The production company filed a permit for the film, and the paperwork shows a $1 million policy, but that appears to be the minimum required for shooting in New Mexico. The production company obtained the umbrella, which is quite typical but not referenced in the permit.

It sounds like a lot of money, but it could be woefully inadequate. 42-year-old Hutchins was a rising star with decades of earnings ahead of her. She was also a mother and a wife, which allows her son and husband to collect for loss of affection. And remember, director Joel Souza was also shot and wounded, and he would have a personal injury claim. The total the insurance company would pay for both Hutchins and Souza is limited to $6 mil.

There's a wild card here ... punitive damages. In New Mexico, if there's proof of recklessness or wanton misconduct, a jury could award punitive damages, and that could send any judgment into the stratosphere.

It seems obvious there was serious negligence on the set, to say the least. A real gun was used, something gun experts on movie sets say is a clear violation. The gun fired off a fatal live round of ammunition, and live rounds should never be on a movie set. And, the area in the line of fire should have been cleared of people, which it was not.

And, there's more. The gun in question clearly was not adequately inspected before it was handed over to Alec Baldwin. And, as we reported several days ago, some members of the crew were using that gun for target practice -- with real bullets. And, someone may have been doing just that hours before the shooting on the set.

There's another issue ... Front Row would not discuss the terms of the policy with us, but typically there are numerous requirements insurance companies impose and violations of those requirements could allow the company to deny coverage. For instance, given this was a policy to cover a western with various gun scenes, there may be an exclusion if there was live ammo on the set.

Hutchin's family and Souza will almost certainly sue individuals and the production company, and those defendants would be independently responsible if a jury found them liable, but the insurance is a backstop in case none of the defendants have significant assets.

'Rust' Gaffer Serge Svetnoy Back in L.A. After Hutchins Tragedy

The gaffer from the set of 'Rust' who torched producers and the novice armorer over Halyna Hutchins' death is back in Los Angeles. ... and he's got some support waiting for him.

Serge Svetnoy touched down in L.A. Tuesday just a couple days after his scathing Facebook post squarely blaming Hannah Reed and others working behind the scenes for allowing this tragedy to unfold on set.

As you can see, Serge was greeted by a friend ... who was ready to welcome him with open arms. The 2 embraced in a hug, although the guy still looked pretty somber, and understandably so.

He also appears to be one of the first crew members back on the West Coast after last week's shooting incident in New Mexico. It could be a sign of where cops are in the investigation too -- presumably, the authorities are starting to cut people loose.

Like we told you ... Serge wasn't shy about sharing his criticism of what went wrong and whose actions he thinks cost Halyna her life. He explicitly mentioned the 24-year-old weapons expert ... while also throwing around words like "negligence" and "unprofessionalism."

In addition to his comments, he also posted what's believed to be one of the last photographs of her ... shortly before she died.

She and the rest of the crew were rehearsing a scene in a church, where Alec Baldwin was in full costume ... and where he ultimately did a cross-draw motion and fired the gun, not knowing it had a live round of ammo in one of the chambers. Serge says he was holding Halyna, and was covered in her blood before she was airlifted.

Waiting for your permission to load the Facebook Post.

So far, there've been no criminal charges brought forth -- but the investigation is still underway, and this is far from over.

Undoubtedly, there will be lawsuits coming, in addition to whatever law enforcement decides to do.

NBA YoungBoy I'm Free!!! For Now, at Least

NBA YoungBoy is finally sprung from jail -- after several months behind bars in his federal gun case -- but he had to drop some serious coin to make it happen.

The rapper's attorneys, Drew Findling and Andre Belanger, tell TMZ ... NBA YB was released on bond Tuesday after forking over $500k in cash. The St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office, which had the rapper in custody since March, confirms they've handed him his walking papers.

YoungBoy might be rejoicing about regaining his freedom until he stands trial ... but he's on a tight leash. He's gotta keep his nose clean -- or else he'll land right back in a cell.

His legal team tells us a condition of YoungBoy's release includes home confinement in Utah, where his location is being monitored. How exactly they'll keep track of him isn't quite clear --  whether it's electronic or physical surveillance -- but we're told the authorities are keeping tabs.

TMZ broke the story ... cops had to use a K-9 unit here in L.A. to wrangle YoungBoy after he allegedly evaded a traffic stop and spurred a police chase.

He's been indicted by a grand jury on charges of possessing a firearm as a felon and possessing a firearm not registered to him.

Chicago Blackhawks Fined $2 Million ... Failed To Investigate Sexual Assault Allegation

The Chicago Blackhawks were just slapped with a massive $2,000,000 fine ... after the NHL said the organization failed to adequately investigate an alleged sexual assault involving a team coach and a young player back in 2010.

The NHL announced the financial penalty on Tuesday ... and it all dates back over a decade ago, when word got back to Hawks team brass that a player on their team -- who hasn't been identified publicly -- claimed he was sexually assaulted by the team's video coach.

The player -- identified as "John Doe" in a civil suit he filed in May 2021 -- claimed the coach, Brad Aldrich, said he wouldn't play in the NHL if he were to turn down the coaches sexual advances ... so, fearing losing his career, the player says he had a sexual encounter with Aldrich.

It's important to note ... Aldrich hasn't denied having a relationship with Doe, however, he's steadfastly said the encounter was consensual.

After the team found out, they assembled all of the bigwigs, including the president, senior VP, general manager, and head coach, among others, to discuss how to handle the situation.

Shockingly, despite the serious allegation, team officials decided to focus their attention on the team's play on the ice ... as they'd just advanced to the Stanley Cup finals.

The "investigation" was kicked to human resources ... though the NHL says it doesn't appear enough was ever done to address it.

FYI, the Blackhawks ended up winning the Stanley Cup that season.

Fast forward to June 2021 ... a Chicago area law firm was hired to look into the organizations handling of the situation, and their investigation determined the organization screwed up, essentially failing to investigate, despite the extremely troubling allegation.

Enter the NHL ... who as a result, levied the multi-million fine against the Blackhawks.

"Today’s fine represents a direct and necessary response to the failure of the Club to follow-up and address the 2010 incident in a timely and appropriate manner,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

“And, this response should send a clear message to all NHL Clubs and all NHL personnel that inappropriate acts must be addressed in a timely fashion."

Bettman says the organization knows they screwed up, and they've taken a number of steps to ensure they're better in the future.

“We acknowledge that the Blackhawks have taken responsibility and ownership for what transpired, and have already implemented new preventative measures."

Those changes include hiring outside counsel to dig into the 2010 incident, overhauling the club's policies, and educating staff on how to properly handle similar allegations.

The commissioner also noted that should any of the senior-level staff wish to return to the league (none of them are currently in the NHL), they will require approval directly from Bettman prior to their hiring.

The Blackhawks also released a statement accepting responsibility for the screwup, writing, "It is clear the organization and its executives at that time did not live up to our own standards or values in handling these disturbing incidents."

"We deeply regret the harm caused to John Doe and the other individuals who were affected and the failure to promptly respond. As an organization, we extend our profound apologies to the individuals who suffered from these experiences. We must -- and will -- do better."

As for the alleged victim ... Doe's civil lawsuit remains open.

Britney Spears Fam's Hurt Me More Than You Know ... I Still Want Justice!!!

Britney Spears has more to get off her chest as it relates to her family -- whom she says have caused irreparable harm ... which she's not going to be quiet about anymore.

The singer took to IG Monday with a not-so-cryptic message ... one that was aimed directly at her blood relatives, it seems. She explains how every person she's ever opened to immediately abandons her in a time of need -- which she finds screwed up and is over with.

She adds, "This message is to my family ... for hurting me deeper than you'll ever know !!! I know the conservatorship is about to be over but I still want justice !!! I'm only 5'4" and I've played the bigger person my entire life ... do you know how hard that is ???"

Unclear who exactly this might be about, per se, but it seems to perhaps be for her younger sister, Jamie Lynn, who's been making headlines of late ... and not for great reasons.

As we've reported ... JLS is taking major heat for releasing a book right on the heels of her older sibling's conservatorship drama, which many find to be exploitative. Britney, too, appears to agree with that -- and has issued a broader warning shot at her brood ... saying they better pray she doesn't do any interviews, where she might really spill the beans.

And, of course, Britney has already expressed anger toward her parents, Jamie and Lynne Spears, so her reference to "family" seems all-inclusive.

BRITNEY'S BOOGIE

BTW, Brit's continuing to use dance as a vehicle to vent and express herself -- her latest offering comes with some help from Whitney Houston.

Tammy Rivera Rips CVS Clerk for Racial Profiling ... But Says, Don't Fire Her!!!

RESPECT YOUR REGULARS
@charliesangelll / Instagram

Waka Flocka's wife, Tammy Rivera, is fuming over a CVS employee who she believes racially profiled and harassed her -- but she's also making an appeal to save the woman's job.

ICYMI, Tammy went off Sunday with a couple of video posts ... one of them from inside the CVS in DeKalb County, GA as the alleged profiling was going down. Tammy said she frequents this CVS and knows all the employees, but the woman she encountered this time was new.

Tammy claims the staffer eyeballed her constantly, up and down every aisle, and yelled at Tammy for opening a hair accessory she intended to buy. The whole scene escalated when the clerk tried to kick TR out of the store, and police were called.

She eventually left the store to avoid trespassing charges, but Monday morning Tammy called her CVS to file a complaint, and she got a quick response from the general manager ... who called back to apologize.

A rep for CVS tells TMZ ... it has a "firm non-discrimination policy" and it's committed to ensuring that all customers are "treated with respect and are offered courteous customer service." The rep added they've launched an investigation.

Tammy tells us she's told CVS she doesn't want the woman to get fired, but instead, would like to see her get more education and training. As Tammy put it ... if it happened to me, it's probably happened to other Black or Latina customers.

CVS says it can't comment on the employment status of individual employees ... so it's unclear what, if any, action has been taken.

'Rust' Shooting Fatal Shot Struck Cinematographer in Chest ... Expert Says 3 Errors Caused Tragedy

Alec Baldwin was practicing a "cross draw" -- pointing his gun at the camera -- when a live round struck the director in the shoulder and the cinematographer fatally in the chest ... this according to new court documents.

Director Joel Souza told Sheriff's investigators he heard someone -- we're told the assistant director -- say "cold gun" while they got ready for the scene ... meaning the gun did not have live rounds in the chambers. Significantly, it appears the gun had been inspected before the lunch break but Souza could not remember if it had been checked when the crew returned.

A cameraman named Reid Russel told authorities, "Alec was trying to explain how he was going to draw out the firearm and where his arm would be when the firearm was pulled from the holster."

Souza explained Baldwin pointed the gun directly at the camera and fired, striking him in the shoulder and Halyna Hutchins in the chest. Souza says he had a vague memory that Hutchins was complaining about her stomach and grabbing her midsection. He says she then began to stumble backward and was assisted to the ground. He says he was bleeding from his shoulder and could see blood on Halyna.

Russel said after the shooting, Halyna said she could not feel her legs. Once on the ground, medics frantically began treating her as she was bleeding on the ground. She was airlifted to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

WHAT WENT WRONG
CNN

Steve Wolf, a special effects coordinator and theatrical firearms safety expert, told CNN there were 3 errors committed that resulted in the tragedy -- using a real gun rather than a prop gun, having a live round in the gun and having people stand behind the camera in the "line of fire." He also said the assistant director should not have been the one to clear the gun before the incident  ... that should have been the armorist's job.

Souza told authorities ... there should never have been live rounds near or around the scene that's being rehearsed or shot.

Authorities have obtained a search warrant to seize all camera footage and any other computer data that may have recorded the fatal incident.

We talked about the incident on the most recent episode of our podcast.

Stu Billett 'People's Court' Creator Dead at 85

Stu Billett -- the mastermind who created "The People's Court" and birthed the whole genre of courtroom TV shows -- has died.

Stu died Friday in Los Angeles as a result of natural causes ... according to reps for 'People's Court.' He was surrounded by family when he passed.

Billett dreamed up 'TPC' back in 1981, and while it was a big TV ratings winner, it was much more than that ... as it became a pop culture phenomenon.

The show's OG judge, Joseph Wapner, became a catchphrase when Dustin Hoffman's character in "Rain Man" obsessed over 'People's Court' ... continually counting down, "15 minutes to Wapner."

The show also spawned countless satirical takes over the years on 'SNL' -- the most recent one featured Kim Kardashian playing her older sister in "The People's Kourt."

The OG 'People's Court' ran from 1981 to 1993 ... first with Wapner as the star. It was rebooted in 1997 with former NYC Mayor Ed Koch as the judge, then Judge Judy's husband, Jerry Sheindlin, took on the role and finally Judge Marilyn Milian took the bench ... and the show's still going strong.

Stu, who won 4 Daytime Emmy awards for his work as the show's executive producer, served in the military -- as a U.S. Marine -- before getting into TV as a producer's assistant on several shows.

He's being remembered by his 'TPC' family as "a kind and remarkable man who made a great impact on the lives of so many people, and he will be missed tremendously."

Stu is survived by his wife of more than 40 years and his children and grandkids.

He was 85.

RIP

Erika Jayne She's Dating Again ... First Time Since Divorce

Erika Jayne is jumping back into the Los Angeles dating pool ... going out with other singles for the first time since she filed for divorce.

Sources tell TMZ … "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star started dating again a month ago, and she's already been on a handful of dates with different men.

It's a big step for Erika ... finally testing the dating waters after filing for divorce from estranged husband Tom Girardi back in November after 21 years of marriage.

Lot's has changed since Erika was last single back in the 1990s ... but she's not using dating apps. We're told she's being set up with suitors by her friends, and the dates have all been with local guys.

Our sources say Erika is seeing if there's a spark with a mix of men ... some of her dates work in show biz and some work in other fields.

In addition to going on dates, Erika's keeping busy in other ways amid her well-documented legal and financial issues ... she's also filming scenes for the new season of 'RHOBH' with the other housewives.

Bottom line ... Erika's ready to get back in the game again.

Alec Baldwin Gun That Killed DP ... Allegedly Used for Off-Set Target Practice

The smoking gun that claimed the life of Halyna Hutchins might've been more than just an on-set prop -- it was also being fired recreationally, even when cameras weren't rolling.

Multiple sources directly connected to the 'Rust' production tell TMZ ... the same gun Alec Baldwin accidentally fired -- hitting the DP and director -- was being used by crews members off set as well, for what we're told amounted to target practice.

We're told this off-the-clock shooting -- which was allegedly happening away from the movie lot -- was being done with real bullets ... which is how some who worked on the film believe a live round found its way in one of the chambers that day.

Obviously, authorities would want to speak to anyone who had been using the weapon for target practice, and -- more importantly -- to whoever was putting the gun back among others used for filming.

We've reached out to law enforcement to see if that's happened yet.

911 AUDIO

There's also this ... one source who was on set and familiar with the goings-on of the crew tells us that when cops showed up, they found live ammo and blanks were being stored in the same area -- another possible explanation for how an actual bullet slipped got in the gun.

Kim Kardashian Trespasser Busted Outside Home ... Despite Restraining Order

Kim Kardashian's got more problems with the man who allegedly sent her a package containing a diamond ring and Plan B ... we're told he showed up at her home again.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... police were called to Kim's home in the San Fernando Valley early Tuesday morning after security at her gated community detained a man for trespassing.

According to new legal docs ... Nicholas Costanza, who Kim claims is the person who shipped Plan B pills and an engagement ring to her home earlier this year, is accused of harassing Kim and threatening her and her family.

We're told he was arrested Tuesday morning and booked ... and now he's been hit with a felony stalking charge because Kim has a restraining order against him.

While the same man has allegedly shown up at Kim's property in the past and tried to jump the gate ... we're told he doesn't appear to have gotten to her house this time and he's being held on $150,000 bail.

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