Tom Cruise partially responsible for 'American Made' pilots' deaths: Victims' families

Carla Harmon
September 22, 2017

"Lapses in planning, coordinating, scheduling, and flight safety that were the Defendants' responsibility resulted in an unqualified and unprepared pilot being pressed into service for a risky flight in a vintage aircraft across an unfamiliar mountain pass in bad weather", the lawsuit states, according to PEOPLE.

Considered a "biographical crime film", "American Made" depicted the journey of a TWA pilot, Barry Seal, who was recruited by the CIA for an operation in Central America. They added that the producers wanted to save time and money so they ignored the flight's safety procedures, as per People.

"The demands of filming in Colombia, together with Cruise's and director Doug Liman's enthusiasm for multiple takes of lavish flying sequences, added hours to every filming day and added days to the schedule", the documents state.

Three men were involved in the accident: cinematographer Jimmy Lee Garland, who was left without feeling in half of his body, longtime Hollywood stunt pilot Alan Purwin and co-pilot Carlos Berl, who both died. Purwin allegedly said that Tom Cruise and others were putting the crew at risk, referring to Tom Cruise as "TC". "American Made" is scheduled to be released on September 29.

It is also noted that a formal complaint was sent by the executive producer to the insurance company regarding the duo in charge of the movie.

The documents also contain an email Purwin sent to that same executive producer in which he called the film "the most risky project I've ever encountered" and added it "took every ounce of skill I had to insure TC, (cinematographer) Cesar (Charlone) and I wouldn't be coming home in a box".

The families are suing the movie's production companies Imagine Entertainment, Cross Creek Pictures and Vendian Entertainment for wrongful death and damages.

They say Cruise himself could have taken over flying responsibilities, calling him "a well-qualified pilot very familiar with the Aerostar and the routing".

The plane crash happened in October 2015.

In Universal Pictures' American Made, Tom Cruise reunites with his Edge of Tomorrow director, Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith), in this worldwide escapade based on the outrageous (and real) exploits of Barry Seal, a hustler and pilot unexpectedly recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency to run one of the biggest covert operations in US history.

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