Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. filed a wrongful death lawsuit against several production companies involved with the movie American Made, formerly known as Mena, starring Tom Cruise. The firm filed the lawsuit on behalf of the estate of Carlos Berl, who died in a plane crash that occurred during the movie’s filming in South America.
This is the second wrongful-death suit to come out of the American Made crash. The estate of Berl, the Colombian civilian and pilot, sued Cross Creek Pictures, Imagine Entertainment, Quadrant Pictures, Vendian Entertainment, and the estate of the other decedent, Hollywood stunt pilot Alan Purwin, and others.
The suit alleges that the production companies permitted for the dangerous flight to go forward without proper supervision or training, resulting in the deadly crash that killed two of its occupants. Berl had informed the productions companies before leaving the U.S. that he had insufficient flight experience in the Subject Aircraft and required flight instruction and familiarization with the aircraft before he could safely pilot it. His requests were completely ignored. The production companies were responsible for making sure that the flights in connection with or in support of the production were operated in a safe manner.
Berl’s family is also represented by Partner Justin Green of Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, a well-known aviation law firm, as well as Daniel Hodes of Hodes, Milman & Liebeck LLP.
America Made tells the story of Barry Seal, a pilot hired to fly for the Medellin drug cartel of notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
On September 11, 2015, the twin-engine plane, a Ted Smith/Piper Aerostar 600, took off from a remote dirt airfield near the jungle filming location. Berl, Purwin, and pilot in command Jimmy Lee Garland were all in the plane.
Tom Cruise was in another helicopter, travelling the same treacherous path through the Andes Mountains. However, his plane safely arrived ten minutes earlier in Medellin, while Berl’s did not. Authorities received calls from local residents about the crash approximately ten minutes after the Aerostar plane that was carrying Berl departed.
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