A crew member who was bitten by a venomous spider on the ill-fated set of Alec Baldwin’s Rust avoided having to have his arm amputated — and may receive compensation from workers after his phone calls to producers were dodged six times.
Jason Miller, a lamp operator and pipe rigger, was breaking down the set after Baldwin’s accidental shooting that killed cameraman Halyna Hutchins when he was bitten by a brown recluse spider – a venomous spider native to North America.
Within days, the diabetic Miller developed severe symptoms, including necrosis of his arm, which occurs when cells die, and sepsis.
He underwent multiple invasive surgeries that required doctors to remove a lot of muscle and skin from his left arm.
Fortunately, Miller has responded well to treatment and doctors have ruled out the need for his arm to be amputated for the time being, saying: Sky News.
Jason Miller, a lamp operator and pipe rigger, was working to halt production on the ill-fated film Rust when he was bitten by a venomous brown recluse spider.
WARNING: GRAPHICS: Jason Miller’s spider bite nearly cost him his left arm (pictured), but after multiple surgeries, the film’s assistant appears closer to a full recovery than amputation
WARNING: GRAPHICS: Miller began experiencing serious symptoms, including necrosis of his arm, which occurs when cells die, and sepsis
WARNING: GRAPHICS: Miller’s left arm has healed significantly since he was first admitted to Lovelace Hospital in Albuquerque earlier this month
How to tell if you’ve been bitten by a brown recluse spider
Bites from brown recluse spiders often go unnoticed at first because they are usually painless.
Occasionally, a slight burn is noted that feels like a bee sting at the time of the bite. Symptoms usually develop 2-8 hours after a bite. Most bites cause little tissue destruction.
The brown recluse spider is a venomous spider native to North America
Initially, the bite site is light red and on close inspection canines may become visible.
Within a few hours the redness gives way to paleness with a red ring around the area, or a bull’s eye. The lesion will often appear to flow downhill over many hours.
The center area will often blister, which may sink after 12-48 hours and then turn bluish and then black as this area of tissue dies.
According to data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the last death in the US from a brown recluse spider was in 2004.
The spiders are native to southern and western states.
Source: WebMD & al.com
Miller’s attempts to get financial backing from the Baldwin-produced film also proved painful.
He said his calls to executives about workers’ compensation were dodged six times before the company finally agreed. His attorneys, Justin and Lydia Pizzonia, say they are now working with the film’s insurance company to get him paid for his on-set injuries.
However, the lawyers told TMZ that while the talks are going smoothly, they are also preparing to file a complaint against the film’s insurance company if their client is not properly reimbursed.
Meanwhile, a fundraising page has helped Miller raise $13,437, more than the $5,000 goal, to pay for his medical expenses.
Earlier this month, a spokesperson for the Rust producers, including Alec Baldwin, told Sky News in a statement, “We do not comment on the private affairs of individual cast and crew members.”
Miller insists that what happened to him was rare and that he would rather have kept the focus on Hutchins, believing her bizarre death could have been avoided.
The Western film’s set has been shut down since Hutchins was murdered on October 21 after Baldwin pointed and fired a Colt pistol with a live bullet at her while she was rehearsing a scene.
Baldwin has said the low-budget film is unlikely to ever be completed.
Baldwin was wielding the vintage pistol on the set of Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when it went off, killing the mother of one and injuring director Joel Souza.
The gun was supplied by gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and checked by assistant director David Halls, who told Baldwin it was a “cold gun,” meaning it had blanks.
Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney Jason Bowles told the… Show today that ‘She’s heartbroken, and she’s just devastated by what happened. ‘
Bowles told before NBC News that the young gunsmith “had no idea where the bullets came from” and had never seen anyone firing live ammunition on set.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot from a prop pistol fired by actor Alec Baldwin on the movie set in New Mexico on Oct. 21
Jason Miller, a lamp operator and pipe rigger, was working on the set of Rust in New Mexico (pictured) when he was bitten by a venomous spider
The set has been closed since actor’s fatal accident
Gutierrez-Reed would receive less than $8,000 for her job on set, compared to $650,000 the producers had set aside for themselves and a $350,000 contingency fee in case something went wrong.
Baldwin would also earn $150,000 as a lead actor, and his production company, El Dorado, took a $100,000 fee, while Hutchins was budgeted to make $48,945.
The independent film had a modest overall budget of just $7,279,305, according to a draft of the September 8 production budget revealed by the Hollywood reporter.