WASHINGTON - Yasiel Puig is being sued for $12 million by a man in Cuba who claims Puig knowingly made false statements that resulted in his receiving a seven-year prison sentence. The complaint was filed in a federal district court in Florida.
Puig declined to comment on the situation. Puig's agent, Jaime Torres, said his client has retained a lawyer who is in the process of filing an "aggressive" response.
Plaintiff Miguel Angel Corbacho Daudinot is in Cuba, but his Miami-based lawyers argue that United States courts have jurisdiction over this case under the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991. The act permits civil cases to be filed in the United States against individuals who commit torture while acting in an official capacity for a foreign nation.
The complaint refers to Puig and his mother as "informants" for the Cuban government. Puig and his mother testified in a 2010 trial in which Corbacho Daudinot was convicted of human trafficking--in other words, of plotting Puig's escape from Cuba. Corbacho Daudinot denies he ever offered to help Puig defect, or even speak to him, for that matter.
Corbacho Daudinot alleges that Puig and his mother made false allegations against him to demonstrate Puig's allegiance to the Cuban government because Puig wanted to be reinstated into the country's top baseball league and national team program. According to the suit, Puig had been demoted to the Cuban league team's developmental squad because the government suspected him of wanting to flee the island.
The lawyers representing Corbacho Daudinot filed a similar $18-million lawsuit last year against Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman on behalf of a different plaintiff. Chapman's motion to dismiss the case was denied, and a trial is set for the winter.
Corbacho Daudinot was imprisoned for 3 1/2 years and will serve the remainder of his sentence under a "provisional liberty" program, according to his lawyers. Corbacho Daudinot is said to be in poor mental and physical health because of his incarceration, which his lawyers described as "inhumane."