Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Jailed American in Cuba loses appeal in case vs. U.S. government

    Jailed American in Cuba loses appeal in case vs. U.S. government
    Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:16pm EST

    (Reuters) – A federal appeals court in Washington on Friday rejected a
    lawsuit filed against the U.S. government by an American contractor
    imprisoned in Cuba who says he was not warned about the risks of working
    on the communist-controlled island.

    Alan Gross and his wife Judy filed the $60 million lawsuit in November
    2012 for gross negligence against the U.S. government and Development
    Alternatives Inc, a Bethesda, Maryland, contractor.

    Gross settled with DAI for undisclosed terms in 2013, and a U.S.
    district court rejected his claim against the government.

    The appeals court panel on Friday upheld the district court’s finding
    that the U.S. government has sovereign immunity because damage to Gross
    occurred outside the country.

    The lawsuit said Gross, 65, should have received better information and
    training for his job of increasing Internet access and the flow of
    communications. Gross was working for DAI under a contract with the U.S.
    Agency for International Development.

    Gross has been jailed in Cuba since December 2009. He is serving a
    15-year sentence for providing Internet gear to Jewish Cubans under a
    U.S. program that Cuba views as subversive.

    The United States says Gross was merely helping the local population get
    connected as part of a democracy-building project.

    Information is tightly controlled on the Caribbean island, Internet use
    is limited, and visitors are not allowed to carry satellite technology.

    A spokeswoman for one of Gross’ lawyers declined to comment.

    Because of Gross’ detention, tensions have mounted in already troubled
    U.S.-Cuban relations.

    Gross has threatened to end his life if he is not released before his
    next birthday in May, his wife and lawyer say.

    The three-judge panel said the Supreme Court had previously held that
    the so-called foreign country exception “bars all claims based on any
    injury suffered in a foreign country, regardless of where the tortious
    act or omission occurred.”

    The judges suggested that any sense of injustice that the law did not
    cover people sent to foreign countries at the behest of the United
    States was a “policy argument … better directed to Congress.”

    (Reporting by David Adams in Miami and Daniel Trotta in Havana; Editing
    by Lisa Von Ahn)

    Source: Jailed American in Cuba loses appeal in case vs. U.S. government
    | Reuters –