HAVANA TIMES — Alan Gross, a USAID sub-contractor released by Cuban authorities as part of an historic agreement last week, will receive immediate compensation of $3.2 million dollars from the US government, reported Café Fuerte.
But the legal battle of the Gross family against the US government will not stop there, his lawyer confirmed. Gross and his wife Judy feel the Obama administration took way too long to obtain his release.
According to a statement released Tuesday, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), the contractor for the covert US government program in Cuba, ended this week an agreement to resolve claims pending before the Civil Board of Contract Appeals, including claims related to Alan Gross.
Development Alternatives, based in Bethesda, Maryland, employed Gross to work for its underground telecommunications project in Cuba funded by USAID. He made several trips to the island before being arrested in December 2009. He was later sentenced to 15 years in prison. Read the story behind Gross’s work in Cuba and detention here.
No admission of liability
“The agreement avoids the cost, duration and risks of other procedures and does not constitute an admission of liability by any party,” stated USAID.
Alan Gross and his wife filed a lawsuit for $60 million against DAI and the US government in November 2012, claiming damages for the dangerous task he pursued in Cuba for the US government program.
DAI reached a settlement with the plaintiffs to settle the dispute, in which both parties were exempted from liability. The firm agreed to pay an undisclosed sum of money to help the family in the prolonged absence of Alan.
But that agreement is different from that announced Tuesday, said the Gross family attorney Scott Gilbert.
Headed for the Supreme Court
As a result of the imprisonment of Gross in Cuba, the family lost their home ownership and Judy Gross had to go to live in an apartment. The familiy’s suit against the government will continue its legal course.
In May 2013, a district court in Manhattan rejected the demand, which led Gilbert to take the case to an appeals court, which last November backed the district court ruling to dismiss the lawsuit.
Gilbert told Café Fuerte that the agreement between DAI and USAID to compensate Gross is independent of his clients determination to pursue the case against the government and submit it to the Supreme Court.
Gross, 65, was released last December 17 as part of a political move by President Barack Obama that included the exchange of three Cuban spies (the remaining imprisoned Cuban Five members) who had been in US prisons since 1998, and the announcement of the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries.