Tom Cruise is named in a lawsuit in which he is partially blamed for a 2015 plane crash on set of American Made.


The families of two pilots who died while filming the movie claim the actor is partly responsible. The estates of Alan Purwin and Carlos Berl, who died in the crash, say, “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,” in their lawsuit. It also describes the film as a “high-risk, action-packed motion picture.”

The pilots’ twin-engine Piper Smith Aerostar 600 went down in the Colombian mountains in September 2015, and they died at the scene. A third pilot, Jimmy Lee Garland survived, but without feeling in the lower half of his body.

The lawsuit doesn’t name either Cruise or Liman as defendants, but does state that they were “negligent” by allowing the plane to take off. In an email uncovered from Purwin to an executive producer, he describes the dangers of flying for the film. “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 s–t I’ve ever dealt with,” he wrote. And a few weeks before the fatal crash, he said to the same producer, “You have no idea the exposure TC and the entire Aerial Team is realizing every time we get in the air. There’s a very ‘thin line’ between keeping all aerial activities safe and having an accident. Trust me on this!” He also calls it “the most dangerous project I’ve ever encountered.”

American Made follows Cruise as Barry Seal, a former Trans World Airlines pilot who acted as a drug smuggler for the Medellin Cartel in the 1980s. He then became an informant for the DEA to avoid being sent to prison. The film hits theaters on Sept. 29.

Read more about: