A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against the U.S. government by Alan Gross, the American-Jewish contractor imprisoned in Cuba since 2009.
Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said in an opinion issued Tuesday that under federal law, the government cannot be sued for injuries that occurred in another country.
Gross and his wife, Judy, filed a $60 million lawsuit in November against the U.S. government and a government contractor charging that Gross should have been better trained and informed of the risks before going to Cuba to set up Internet access for the Jewish community there.
Gross, 64, was arrested in December 2009 as he was leaving Cuba for “crimes against the state.” He spoke virtually no Spanish and traveled to Cuba five times under his own name before his arrest.
Gross’ family and U.S. State Department officials say that Gross was in Cuba on a U.S. Agency for International Development contract to help the country’s 1,500 Jews communicate with other Jewish communities using the Internet.
The main Jewish groups in Cuba have denied any contact with or knowledge of Gross or the program. The Grosses settled in mid-May with Development Alternatives Inc., a Maryland-based contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, for an undisclosed amount.