A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by Alan Gross, the American-Jewish contractor who has been imprisoned in Cuba since 2009, against the U.S. government, for whom he was working when he was arrested.
Judge James Boasberg wrote in an opinion dismissing the case that federal law bars lawsuits against the government based on injuries suffered in foreign countries.
Gross filed the lawsuit last year. He was working for the U.S. Agency for International Development and its contractor Development Alternatives Inc. when he was arrested in 2009.
Gross had been working to bring internet access to the island and was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his work. He said in his lawsuit that he was not prepared for the risks involved with his job.
He recently settled a negligence lawsuit against his U.S. government employer, claiming the risks associated with his mission had been underestimated, for an undisclosed amount.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said earlier this month that his country was ready to open talks with the United States on swapping Gross for five Cubans convicted of spying in the U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry said in April that Washington was working to free Gross, but has rejected a deal with Havana to swap him for the five Cubans.