WASHINGTON – Yasiel Puig is being sued for $12 million by a man in Cuba who claims Puig knowingly made false allegations against him that resulted in his receiving a seven-year prison sentence.
The complaint, which seeks damages for the "prolonged arbitrary detention and torture" of Miguel Angel Corbacho Daudinot, was filed in federal district court in Florida.
Puig's agent, Jaime Torres, said his client was aware of the lawsuit. Torres said that a lawyer retained by Puig is in the process of filing a response.
"This is not something we're going to comment about," Torres said.
Corbacho Daudinot is in Cuba, but his lawyers argue that the U.S. court has jurisdiction in 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 government.
Puig and his mother testified in a 2010 trial in which Corbacho Daudinot was convicted of human trafficking – basically, of plotting Puig's escape from Cuba. Corbacho Daudinot denies he ever offered to help Puig defect.
Corbacho Daudinot alleges that Puig knowingly made false claims against him to demonstrate allegiance to the Cuban government, and be reinstated in the country's top baseball league and national-team program. According to the suit, Puig was demoted to his Cuban league team's developmental squad because the government suspected him of wanting to flee the island.
The lawyers representing Corbacho Daudinot filed similar lawsuits last year against Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman on behalf of different plaintiffs.
Corbacho Daudinot was imprisoned for 3 1/2 years and is to serve the remainder of his sentence under a "provisional liberty" program, according to his Miami-based lawyers. Corbacho Daudinot's freedom to travel is restricted and he must be in regular contact with authorities. As a result, he is unable to return to the Dominican Republic, where he is a permanent resident.
Corbacho Daudinot is in poor mental and physical health because of his incarceration, according to his lawyers.