Alan Gross Settles Suit on 'Risky' Work in Cuba

Jewish State Department Contractor Still Jailed on 'Spy' Charge

Gross Family

By Reuters

Published May 17, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

An American contractor imprisoned in Cuba has settled a lawsuit in which he accused the company he was working for when he was arrested and the U.S. government with failing to warn him about the risks of working on the communist-controlled island.

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

The suit claimed Gross, 64, should have been given better information and training for his work increasing Internet access and the flow of communications. Gross was working for Development Alternatives under a contract with USAID.

The settlement with Development Alternatives was filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington. The terms were not disclosed. The U.S. government is not included in the settlement.

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 insists 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.

Since his detention, Gross’ wife has said he had lost 100 pounds (45 kg), has had chronic arthritis pain and what could be a cancerous tumor beneath a shoulder blade.

Gross and his wife also sued New Jersey-based Federal Insurance Co in Maryland District Court in November 2012. They claimed that the company, part of Chubb Corp, had wrongfully refused benefits under what the suit cited as “a wrongful detention” clause.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.