Last fall, two crew members were killed in a plane crash during the production of Tom Cruise’s upcoming film, American Made. The accident, which also injured a third crew member, already led to a civil suit on behalf of American stunt pilot Alan Purwin. Now The Hollywood Reporter brings word that a second wrongful death suit is being brought by the family of Venezuelan pilot Carlos Berl against the films’ producers.
The accident occurred during on-location production in Colombia, and the suit claims that production scheduling issues led to the crew being rushed back to Medellin. Specifically, the crash was allegedly the result of being directed to fly over unsafe terrain in an aircraft that was not designed to do so, by a pilot who had notified the production companies that he lacked sufficient training in the particular aircraft being used. An attorney for the family of Carlos Berl, stated that Berl had requested additional flight instruction but that “his requests were completely ignored” by producers. In addition to the initial suit made by Purwin’s family, the Purwin estate and Jimmy Lee Garland, the lone survivor, are named as co-defendants in the Berl suit.
Helmed by Edge Of Tomorrow’s Doug Liman, American Made is based on the life of Barry Seal (played by Cruise), a former TWA pilot who helped traffic drugs for the Colombian cartels, and was later recruited by the CIA to serve as an informant. American Made is currently scheduled to be released in September 2017.