The producers of Tom Cruise-starrer American Made are hit with another lawsuit, a year after the deadly plane crash on the Colombia set of the film. The family of one of the student pilots, who died in the crash during filming, has sued Imagine Entertainment, other producers, the estate of Hollywood stunt pilot Alan Purwin and more, for wrongful death.
According to this blogpost, the complaint from the Berl family filed on Wednesday in LA Superior Court stated that the defendants ‘negligently, unlawfully and carelessly supervised, prepared, instructed, operated, entrusted, piloted, flew, controlled, and directed the Subject Aircraft so as to cause and/or allow it to collide with terrain, grievously injuring Plaintiff’s decedent, Carlos Berl, who perished as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash’.
Berl’s attorney Daniel Hode claimed in his statement that producers were aware the pilot was unprepared. “Even prior to traveling to South America, Carlos repeatedly informed the production companies that he had insufficient flight experience in that particular aircraft and required flight instruction prior to flying. His requests were completely ignored,” he said.
On 11 September last year, Berl and Purwin died when the twin-engine Aerostar they were flying in, with pilot-in-command Jimmy Lee Garland, crashed due to foggy conditions in the rugged Andes near Medellin, Colombia. Filming of American Made (formerly titled Mena) was completed that day. The Associated Press reported that 10 minutes before the fatal crash, Cruise had been in a helicopter taking the same route as the plane that went down. Garland, however, survived the crash.
The family of the deceased are currently seeking damages which include loss of inheritance, loss of earnings, property damage, prejudgment interest, loss of comfort, costs of the suit and such other remedies as may be permitted by law. The complaint added, “Plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for the decedent’s burial and funeral expenses and other damages.”
Producers for American Made were sued for wrongful death in April by Purwin’s widow, Kathryn. Cross Creek, Imagine, Vendian, and Quadrant Pictures were also named as defendants, as was Berl’s estate.
American Made, directed by Doug Liman, is a film inspired by Barry Seal, a former TWA pilot who became a drug smuggler in the 1980s and who was recruited later on by the DEA to provide intelligence. The film stars Tom Cruise in the lead role, along with actors Domhnall Gleeson, Lola Kirke, and Jesse Plemons.
American Made is slated to be released on 29 September next year.
Feature Image Credit: Screen Rant