Tom Cruise’s upcoming film ‘American Made’ has not had the smoothest time getting onto the big screen. Now, the families of two men who died in a plane crash on the film’s set during September has filed a death suit against the producers of Tom Cruise-starrer ‘American Made’.
Last year, three members of the crew of American Made were hired and traveling between filming spots while on location in Colombia. The twin-engine Piper Smith Aerostar 600 went down in the mountains and crashed.
American Alan Purwin and Colombian Carlos Burl were killed, while American pilot Jimmy Lee Garland was seriously injured. The plane the two pilots died in was also commonly referred to as the ‘widow maker’ or ‘death star.’
Now Purwin and Berl’s families are both suing the producers for wrongful death and damages, according to court documents because they claim it was the production company’s negligence which led to the crash.
More broadly, the crash has raised new concerns about the adequacy of industry standards governing aerial work, including pilot safety. The families of Purwin and Berl are suing producers Imagine Entertainment, Vendian Entertainment and Cross Creek Pictures for wrongful death and other damages, alleging that, in a rush to wrap up filming and save money, production and aviation companies ignored basic safety considerations.
The families of both dead men also are suing each other, and Berl’s family is going after Garland, the survivor, alleging negligence.
According to a press release sent out announcing the suit. Carlos Burl made the producers of American Made aware that he had limited experience in flying an aircraft like the Aerostar, and would require additional training in order to do so safely.
The suit claims that these requests for additional instruction were ignored and that the dangerous flight only took place because filming was behind schedule and things were rushed between filming locations. Ultimately, it was the lack of supervision over the flight by the production company that resulted in the crash.
The suit further alleges that the terrain over which the plane flew was ‘unsuitably difficult for such an instructional’ flight, especially considering it was allegedly rushed, unscheduled and had ‘limited flight data and weather instrumentation’ onboard the aircraft.
The lawyer representing Berl’s family said they hope their lawsuit establishes stricter regulations on safety.