Today, Pillsbury and its client Rust Movie Productions, LLC, are pleased to announce that they achieved a favorable settlement with the State of New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Review Bureau. The settlement was secured after extensive depositions of witnesses and written discovery relating to citations issued by the Bureau following the highly-publicized incident which occurred during the production of the film “Rust” in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Because the OSHA matter moved swiftly, the deposition testimony obtained was relied on by other defendants as exculpatory evidence and to correct misinformation circulating within various media.

Rust Movie Productions appealed the citations and, following the close of discovery, worked in cooperation with the Bureau to resolve the dispute. The agreement does not constitute any admission by Rust Movie Productions of any violations of the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Act or any other wrongdoing.

“Rust Movie Productions is very pleased with the outcome of this matter,” said Thomas Van Wyngarden, a partner with Pillsbury in Los Angeles who heads the workplace safety practice and represented Rust Movie Productions. “We are satisfied that the settlement reflects the right outcome—the withdrawal by the Bureau of the ‘willful’ designation, reduced penalties, and revised alleged violation description language which removed largely unnecessary, inflammatory language. Everyone involved is pleased to move forward and put this matter behind them.”

Melina Spadone, Senior Counsel in Pillsbury’s Los Angeles and New York offices, and Derek Mayor, litigation Counsel in Pillsbury’s Sacramento office, worked with Tom Van Wyngarden on this matter.

The settlement is expected to become final 20 days following its submission.

A copy of the proposed settlement can be found here.