December 26, 2012

Cuba won't respond to Maine woman's lawsuit, so it's dismissed

The woman is seeking to enforce a $21 million judgment for the 1963 wrongful death of her father.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

BANGOR – A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Stockton Springs woman against the Republic of Cuba because the island nation failed to respond to repeated summonses by the court.

click image to enlarge

This January 2012 file photo shows part of the historic center of Camagüey, Cuba. A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Stockton Springs woman against the Republic of Cuba because the island nation failed to respond to repeated summonses by the court.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Sherry Sullivan sued earlier this year, after winning a ruling in state court in 2009 that Cuba was guilty of the wrongful death of her father, a pilot who is believed to have been shot down over Cuba in 1963 while on a covert mission.

The judge who ruled in Waldo County Superior Court on Aug. 10, 2009, awarded Sullivan $21 million plus interest, according to federal court records.

Sullivan's filing in U.S. District Court in Bangor sought to enforce the $21 million judgment for the "extrajudicial torture and extrajudicial killing" of Geoffrey Sullivan.

U.S. District Judge George Singal ordered the case dismissed without prejudice -- meaning it can be brought forward later -- after receiving no response from Cuba to three orders, court records show.

The lawsuit in state court alleged that Geoffrey Sullivan, who was 29 at the time, was captured and later died in a Cuban jail.

The state and federal lawsuits argued that Cuba was liable under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

Sullivan's attorney, David Van Dyke, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Staff Writer Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@pressherald.com

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