|USAID counterintelligence guide|
Cuban authorities arrested Gross on Dec. 3, 2009, and he was later convicted of crimes against the Cuban state.
When Gross turned 65 in May he told his lawyer he'd rather be dead than spend another birthday behind bars. A 49-page brief filed in court states:
Although Mr. Gross’s plight continues to receive national and international media attention, he remains imprisoned in Cuba more than four years after his arrest. Mr. Gross endures harsh conditions, and faces another decade of imprisonment. Mr. Gross’s health has deteriorated, his family has been torn apart, and his business and career have been destroyed.On Friday, lawyers for Gross told a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals that he and his wife should have the right to sue the U.S. government and collect damages.
|James E. Boasberg|
Many private claims against the U.S. government never go forward because the government has what's known as sovereign immunity.
The Federal Tort Claims Act, or FTCA, waives that immunity in certain cases.
Lawyers for the government say the FTCA doesn't apply to the Gross case. They say he can't make a claim against the U.S. government for harm he has suffered as a result of his jailing in a foreign country.
Gross's lawyers - Scott D. Gilbert, Barry I. Buchman, Natalie A. Baughman and Emily P. Grim - disagree.
They say his project in Cuba was "organized, directed, funded, and overseen" by the U.S. government.