'Rust' film worker who was bitten by spider has his arm saved

Worker bitten by venomous spider on tragedy-plagued Rust set has his arm saved from being amputated

  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT: Jason Miller, a lamp operator and pipe rigger, was working on the set of Rust when he was bitten by a brown recluse spider
  • Within days, he started experiencing severe symptoms, including necrosis of his left arm and sepsis
  • He has reportedly been hospitalized in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and has undergone many invasive surgeries 
  • Miller is recovering well after initial fears that his arm may need to be amputated
  • He  also revealed that producers of the film failed to return his calls after he called them SIX times to ask about workers compensation
  • The set of Rust has been shut down since actor Alec Baldwin, 63, accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, while rehearsing a scene

A crew member who was bitten by a venomous spider on the ill-fated set of Alec Baldwin’s Rust averted needing to have his arm amputated – and may finally get workers’ compensation after his calls to producers were dodged six times.  

Jason Miller, a lamp operator and pipe rigger, was breaking down the set after the accidental shooting by Baldwin that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins when he was bitten by a brown recluse spider – a venomous spider that is native to North America.  

Within days, the diabetic Miller started experiencing severe symptoms, including necrosis of his arm, which occurs when cells die, and sepsis.  

He went through multiple invasive surgeries where doctors had to cut out a bunch of muscle and skin from his left arm. 

Fortunately, Miller has responded well to treatment, and doctors for now have ruled out amputating his arm, according to Sky News.  

Jason Miller, a lamp operator and pipe rigger, was working to wind down production of the ill-fated film Rust when he was bitten by a poisonous brown recluse spider

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT: Jason Miller’s spider bite almost cost him his left arm (pictured), but after multiple surgeries, the film worker seems closer to a full recovery then amputation 

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT: Miller started experiencing severe symptoms, including necrosis of his arm, which occurs when cells die, and sepsis

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT: Miller’s left arm has significantly healed since first being admitted to the Lovelace Hospital in Albuquerque earlier this month

How you can tell if you were bitten by a brown recluse spider 

Bites from brown recluse spider often go unnoticed initially because they are usually painless. 

Occasionally, some minor burning that feels like a bee sting is noticed 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 that is native to North America

Initially the bite site is mildly red and upon close inspection may reveal fang marks.

Within a few hours, the redness gives way to pallor with a red ring surrounding the area, or a ‘bull’s-eye’ appearance. The lesion will often appear to flow downhill over the course of many hours. 

The center area will then often blister, which over 12-48 hours can sink, turning bluish then black as this area of tissue dies. 

According to records by 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 relief from the Baldwin-produced film also proved agonizing.

He said his calls to execs 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 movie’s insurance company to get him paid for his injuries on set. 

However, the attorneys told TMZ that while talks are moving smoothly, they are also preparing to file a complaint against the movie’s insurance company if their client is not properly compensated.

Meantime, a fundraising page has helped Miller raise $13,437, exceeding 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 individual members of the cast and crew’s private matters.’  

Miller insists that what happened to him was rare and that he would rather the focus remain on Hutchins because he thinks her freak death could have been avoided. 

The set of the Western film has been shut down since Hutchins was killed on October 21 after Baldwin pointed and fired a Colt pistol containing a live round at her while rehearsing a scene.

Baldwin has said it is unlikely the low-budget movie will ever be completed. 

Baldwin was handling the vintage gun on the set of Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when it discharged – killing the mom-of-one and wounding director Joel Souza.

The gun was supplied by the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and checked by the assistant director David Halls, who told Baldwin it was a ‘cold gun,’ meaning it had blanks. 

Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyer, Jason Bowles, told the Today Show that ‘She’s heartbroken, and she’s just devastated by what’s happened. ‘ 

Bowles previously told NBC News that the young armorer had ‘no idea where the live rounds came from’ and never witnessed anyone shooting live ammunition on set. 


Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot with a prop gun fired by actor Alec Baldwin on the movie set in New Mexico on October 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 shuttered since actor the fatal accident

Gutierrez-Reed was set to receive less than $8,000 for her job on the set, compared to $650,000 the producers set aside for themselves and a $350,000 contingency fee in case anything went wrong.

Baldwin was also slated to earn $150,000 as the lead actor, and his production company, El Dorado, was taking a $100,000 fee, while Hutchins was budgeted to earn $48,945.

The independent movie had a modest overall budget of just $7,279,305, according to a draft of the production budget dated September 8, which was revealed by the Hollywood Reporter. 

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