Tom Cruise's 'Mena' Producers Sued for Wrongful Death After Crew's Plane Crash

Alan Purwin's widow claims the pilot in the crash that killed her husband was unqualified.
Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures International
Tom Cruise in 'Mena'

In September, two crewmembers were killed in a small plane crash during filming of Mena in Colombia, and now the wife of one of the passengers is suing the studios and the late pilot's estate for wrongful death. 

"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," states the complaint filed Friday by the wife and children of Alan Purwin, one of the men who was killed.  

The suit names Cross Creek Pictures, Imagine Entertainment, Vendian Entertainment and Quadrant Pictures as defendants and claims Berl was not actually a member of the crew and producers violated the closed set policies by allowing him on location.

In addition to the production companies, Purwin's family is suing the estate of Berl, the Colombian pilot who was also killed in the crash.

The complaint describes Mena as a film as starring Tom Cruise in the role of a pilot who was recruited by the CIA in the '80s to capture Pablo Escobar, and claims the crash happened after the completion of filming on the final day of principal photography.

A third man, Jimmy Lee Garland, was also injured in the crash.  

Purwin's credits as a helicopter pilot include the Hunger Games franchise, Entourage and San Andreas. He was also founder and president of Helinet Technologies, a company that provides aerial surveillance services to law enforcement and government agencies across the globe. 

Mena producers did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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