Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lawyer: Gross can't collect any money

Screenshot from the Free Alan Gross website
A judge would have to re-write a contractor's insurance policy for it to cover Alan Gross and his wife for losses they suffered after his jailing in Cuba in 2009, lawyers for the insurance company say.
Alan Gross and his wife, Judy, sued Federal Insurance Co. in November for nearly $10 million. (See lawsuit). Federal replied on March 5, reiterating its claim that Gross was a subcontractor who was not covered under the policy that his employer, Development Alternatives Inc., or DAI, had purchased. (See 18-page reply and related exhibit).

Federal wants U.S. District Court Judge Paul W. Grimm to dismiss the case. Lisa Bonanno, a lawyer for Federal, wrote:
This case can and should be resolved on a motion to dismiss. Plaintiffs seek reimbursement from Federal for “Expenses” that they allegedly incurred in connection with Mr. Gross’ detention in Cuba. However, as set forth in Federal’s opening brief, the Policy expressly states that Federal’s only obligation is to “reimburse the Parent Corporation,” Development Alternatives, Inc. (“DAI”), for “Expenses” incurred in connection with a “Wrongful Detention.” Nowhere does the Policy state that Federal is required to “reimburse” any other party. As a result, the Grosses have no legal basis whatsoever to seek reimbursement from Federal, which is the relief that they seek in this lawsuit. For that reason, the Complaint should be dismissed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1), because the Grosses lack legal standing to pursue the claims alleged, and also pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), because the Complaint fails to state a claim for which relief may be granted. 
At a more fundamental level, all of the Grosses’ arguments suffer from the same fatal flaw: they completely ignore the language in Insuring Clause (C) that states that Federal “shall reimburse the Parent Corporation” and no one else. Indeed, for the Grosses to succeed here, they must convince the Court not only to ignore that language but that it should re-write the Policy to provide reimbursement directly to them. That, of course, would be entirely impermissible under well-established Maryland law.
The Grosses argue that the case shouldn't be thrown out before key evidence is presented. (See their 33-page motion).
Gross has been in jail for 1,195 days, according to the Free Alan Gross website.

Related:
Feb. 12, 2013: A battle for justice, freedom and $10 million
Dec. 4, 2012: DAI to Gross: You're on your own, pal

Note: This article was shared with the Center for Democracy in the Americas as part of a six-month collaborative project with non-profit group. See more about our collaboration here.

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