Families Blame Tom Cruise for Deadly Plane Crash

They're suing over American Made crash
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2017 3:15 AM CDT
Families Blame Tom Cruise for Deadly Plane Crash
This photo released by the San Pedro de los Milagros Fire Department shows the wreckage of a small plane assigned to the crew of a film starring Tom Cruise on Sept. 11, 2015.   (San Pedro de los Milagros Fire Department via AP)

Tom Cruise and American Made director Doug Liman are partly to blame for a plane crash that killed two pilots during filming in Colombia, according to a lawsuit from the pilots' families. The families blame Cruise and Liman for deciding to make a "high-risk, action-packed motion picture" and say their "enthusiasm for multiple takes of lavish flying sequences added hours to every filming day and added days to the schedule," according to the lawsuit seen by the Blast. American pilot Alan Purwin and Colombian pilot Carlos Berl died when their twin-engine Piper/Smith Aerostar 600 crashed in the Colombian mountains on Sept. 11, 2015.

The families say that in an email, Purwin called the movie "the most dangerous project" he had ever encountered. Cruise and Liman aren't named as defendants in the lawsuit against the movie's producers, but the families say they were negligent in allowing a "dangerous flight in a vintage aircraft across an unfamiliar mountain pass in bad weather," People reports. They say Cruise, "a well-qualified pilot very familiar with the Aerostar and the routing," could have flown the plane himself. Berl's family is also suing surviving pilot Jimmy Lee Garland, who was left without feeling in his lower body. American Made, which stars Cruise as a drug-smuggling former TWA pilot, will be in theaters Sept. 29. (More Tom Cruise stories.)

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