Two pilots were killed during the filming of Tom Cruise’s latest film, American Made. Now, the actor is facing accusations that he is partially responsible for the deaths.
The plane crash happened in 2015 while American Made was being filmed in Colombia. People reports a plane carrying three pilots went down in the mountains. Alan Purwin and Carlos Berl were killed, while the third pilot, Jimmy Lee Garland, suffered injuries leaving him without feeling in the lower half of his body.
Now, the families are suing the production, but specifically pointing to negligence by director Doug Liman and film star Cruise. The lawsuit alleges the aerial shots the pilots were asked to complete were risky, paired with long hours and improper prep work before the shots were attempted.
According to the court document, “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 document further alleges, “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 dangerous flight in a vintage aircraft across an unfamiliar mountain pass in bad weather.”
Ahead of his death, Purwin reportedly wrote in an email that American Made was “the most dangerous project I’ve ever encountered.”
Even more damning for the production, one of the executive producers sent a letter to the insurance company with a formal complaint against Cruise and Liman.
“DL [Director Liman] and TC [Cruise] [are] adding entire scenes and aerial shots on the fly. Had to bring in Uni Safety to help wrangle them. In the last 48 hours, this has become the most insane shit I’ve ever dealt with,” the letter read according to the lawsuit.
Cruise, Liman and Universal Pictures have yet to comment on the lawsuit.