Wife of Man Killed During Tom Cruise Movie Launches Lawsuit
The wife of a crewmember killed in a small plane crash during the filming of the Tom Cruise film Mena is suing the studios for wrongful death.
Alan Purwin, 54, was killed along with Carlos Berl when their plane went down in foggy conditions in the Andes mountains in Colombia on September 11. A third man, Jimmy Garland, survived.
The film stars Cruise as Barry Seal, a pilot who was unexpectedly recruited by the CIA in the 1980s to help capture drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The crash reportedly happened after the completion of filming on the final day of principal photography.
Associated Press reported that 10 minutes before the fatal crash, Cruise had been in a helicopter taking the same route as the plane.
In the suit filed on Friday, Purwin’s widow Kathryn and sons Kyle and Michael claim that Berl lacked the skills and qualifications to command the flight safely.
The lawsuit names Cross Creek Pictures, Imagine Entertainment, Vendian Entertainment and Quadrant Pictures as defendants, and claims Berl was not actually a crewmember and producers violated the closed set policies by allowing him on location.
“Defendants knew that the Accident Aircraft would be flown over rugged, mountainous terrain and in the Republic of Colombia, and yet failed to ensure that Carlos Berl was competent, qualified, rested and sufficiently informed for the flight,” it states in the complaint filed on Friday.
In addition to the production companies, Purwin’s family is suing the estate of pilot Berl.
Purwin worked as a pilot on more than 100 films, including Die Hard, Speed, Jurassic World, The Hunger Games trilogy, and multiple Fast & Furious films.
The family are seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages, Deadline reports.