Alan Gross, a U.S. contractor serving a 15-year sentence in Cuba for subversion, and his wife, Judy, have sued the United States and the company that hired him for not warning him about the risks of traveling to the Communist-ruled island nor providing him with adequate protection.

In a statement, the two said the lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Washington against the U.S. government and Development Alternatives Inc. due to their "role in Mr. Gross' detention and imprisonment, including their abject failure to advise, train and protect him."

DAI - a Maryland-based company contracted by the U.S. Agency for International Development - and the government ignored "Mr. Gross's repeated security concerns so that DAI could continue to generate significant revenue and the government could continue to use Mr. Gross as a pawn in its overall Cuba policy initiatives," the statement added.

Now 63, Gross was arrested in Havana on Dec. 3, 2009, in possession of satellite communications equipment he said he was planning to distribute among Cuba's Jewish community.

Havana says he was illegally aiding dissidents and inciting subversion on the island. Last August, Cuba's highest court upheld the 15-year prison sentence imposed on Gross five months earlier.

EFE