Tom Cruise partially blamed for death of two pilots during filming American Made

Tom Cruise filming a stunt for Mission: Impossible - Rogue NationParamount Pictures

The estates of two pilots, who were killed while working on a Tom Cruise film in 2015, have blamed the actor for the deaths and filed a case against the production companies involved in the project.

In recent court documents, the families of Alan Purwin and Carlos Berl claim that it was Cruise and director Doug Liman's desire for "high-risk, action-packed" scenes in American Made that led to the filming accident.

In September 2015, Purwin and Berl along with a third pilot Jimmy Lee Garland crashed their twin-engine Piper Smith Aerostar 600 into the mountains in Colombia while shooting for the movie.

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While the first two died on the spot, Garland was severely injured and left without feeling in the lower half of his body.

"The demands of filming in Colombia, together with Cruise 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 court documents stated according to The Blast.

While not directly indicted, Cruise and Liman have been blamed for allegedly being "negligent" for allowing the plane to take off in bad weather conditions.

The wrongful death case has been filed against Imagine Entertainment, Vendian Entertainment and Cross Creek Pictures.

"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," the documents state.

According to additional documents, Purwin also wrote an email describing the bad conditions under which they were working and described the project as "the most dangerous project I've ever encountered".

"You have no idea the exposure TC (Tom Cruise) and the entire Aerial Team is realizing every time we get in the air," he wrote. "There's a very 'thin line' between keeping all aerial activities safe and having an accident. Trust me on this!"

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Neither Tom Cruise nor Universal Pictures have released any statement regarding these claims. American Made is expected to release in the US on 29 September.

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