The Estate of Robert Otis Fuller.
The Republic of Cuba
Claim under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act
[NOTE: Robert Fuller was part of an invasion force sent to Cuba under the direction of Rolando Masferrer]
IN THE CIRCUIT OF THE 11TH
JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA
GENERAL JURISDICTION DIVISION
CASE NO. 02-12475
LYNITA FULLER CASKEY, as
Personal Representative of the
Estate of ROBERT OTIS FULLER,
Deceased, on behalf of Lynita Fuller
Caskey, surviving daughter, and The
Estate of Robert Otis Fuller.
THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA
Plaintiff, LYNITA FULLER CASKEY, as Personal Representative of the
Estate of ROBERT OTIS FULLER ("BOBBY FULLER") Deceased, on behalf of
Lynita Fuller Caskey, surviving daughter, and The Estate of Robert Otis
Fuller, through undersigned counsel, hereby sues the Defendant, THE
REPUBLIC OF CUBA ("CUBA") and alleges as follows:
1. This is an action for damages in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of this Court.
2. Plaintiff, LYNITA FULLER CASKEY is, and at all times material
hereto was a national of the United States of America and a resident of
3. Defendant, CUBA is, and at all times material hereto was, a
foreign sovereign state as defined by the terms and provisions of 28
4. At all times material hereto, Plaintiff LYNITA FULLER CASKEY,
was, is and/or will be duly appointed Personal Representative of the
Estate of ROBERT OTIS FULLER, Deceased, and the proper party to bring
5. This court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this
cause pursuant to the terms of 28U.S.C. 1330 and 1331 as
Plaintiff's claims are brought pursuant to the Foreign Sovereign
Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. 1602, et seq.
6. Defendant CUBA is subject to suit in a court of competent
jurisdiction in any state court in the United States pursuant to the
provisions of 28U.S.C. 1605.
7. Congress has crafted an exception to the Foreign Sovereign
Immunities Act, through the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty
Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"). Under 28 U.S.C. 1605(7), the
sovereign immunity of a foreign state is waived when a U.S. national
Plaintiff seeks money damages in United States courts for acts of
extrajudicial killing for which the foreign state is responsible.
8. The substantive cause of action is based upon the Civil
Liability for Acts of State Sponsored Terrorism, 28U.S.C.A.
1605. Said statute creates a cause of action against agents of a
foreign state that act under the conditions specified in section
1605(a)(7) of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
9. An additional substantive claims lies in the Torture Victim
Protection Act of 1991. Said Act establishes a civil action for
recovery of damages from an individual who, under actual or apparent
authority of a foreign nation, engages in torture or extrajudicial
10. A foreign nation is liable for damages to the individual's
legal representative, or to any person who may be a claimant in an
action for wrongful death. For purposes of this Act, the term
"extrajudicial killing" means a deliberate killing not authorized by a
judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the
judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized
peoples. See 28U.S.C. 1605(e)(1).
11. Summary executions are considered "extrajudicial killing"
within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. 1350. See Lafontant v.
Aristide, 844 F.Supp.128(E.D.N.Y.1994)(dicta).
12. Defendant, Cuba is designated to be a state sponsor of
terrorism under the terms and provisions of 56(j) of Export
Administration Act of 1979, 50U.S.C. 2405(j).
FACTS OF THE CASE
13. In 1903, Jennie M. Fuller, (paternal grandmother of
Plaintiff), moved to Holguin, Cuba with her family from Massachusetts.
Her father, Alvin Jewett purchased and develop certain land and held
other assets and personal properties in Holguin, Cuba including but not
Plantation at Holguin, Cuba consisting of approximately 120 caballerias
of land and improvements thereof-(approximately 4,000 acres of land)
A saw mill, equipment, livestock (cattle) crops,
A sugar cane business and other personal property.
The family owned and operated a saw mill, they raised crops, cattle and grew sugar cane on the island.
14. Jennie M. (Jewett) Fuller, (paternal grandmother of
Plaintiff), married William Otis Fuller in 1925, (both United States
citizens) and had seven children, including the Plaintiff's father,
Robert Otis Fuller all of which were born in Cuba. Bobby Fuller
was born on May 11, 1934 in Santiago de Cuba.
15. The Fuller family assets and properties located in Holguin,
Cuba were jointly owned by Plaintiff's paternal grandparents, Jennie M.
Fuller and William Otis Fuller, her husband, and by Plaintiff's
paternal uncle, Miles Chester Jewett.
16. On July 21, 1940, the family formed a corporation called Cia.
Agricola De Lewiston, S.A., a Cuban Corporation. All assets were
assigned to Cia. Agricola De Lewiston, S.A., which was created for the
specific purpose of carrying on and/or conducting the family business
in Cuba. The Cuban Corporation conducted business in Cuba
continuously from July 21, 1940 until August of 1959.
17. In January of 1959, Fidel Castro and his 26th of July
Communist revolutionary rebel army movement took power over Cuba and
began to radically alter the economy and social structure of the island.
18. By May of 1959 the Castro government restricted or set forth
the maximum limits of land ownerships allowed for individuals and
corporate entities. All additional or excess (privately owned)
land was expropriated or confiscated by the government. Shortly
thereafter, all lands were nationalized and became "state owned"
19. In August of 1959, the Castro Government ordered that the Fuller family corporation be dissolved.
20. By September 3, 1959, the family corporation, Cia Agricola De
Lewiston, S.A. was formally dissolved pursuant to orders of the Castro
government at which time the family distributed the corporate assets
among its stockholders as follows:
Mr. & Mrs. William Otis Fuller 68.994 caballerias of land/ 2,287.97 acres
Mr. & Mrs. Miles Chester Jewett 58.730 caballerias of land/ 1,947.60 acres.
(1 caballeria equals 33.162 acres)
21. By December of 1959, the Cuban Communist Revolution was in
full force and the survival of existing businesses and institutions
were threatened. Due to the foregoing, the late William Otis
Fuller returned to the U.S. while Jennie M. Fuller, his wife remained
in Cuba to look over and protect the Fuller family land and their
22. As of February of 1960, the Fuller's land, property, and saw
mill including all of it's improvements, livestock, personal belongings
and other items of personal value situated on the property, were
intervened, and/or confiscated by the Castro Government.
23. Subsequently thereafter, the Plaintiff's father, Bobby
Fuller, ventured to Cuba in an effort to protect his family's land,
businesses and other interests.
24. On October 15, 1960, Bobby Fuller (ex-U.S. Marine) along with
another American and two Cuban nationals, were captured and arrested by
Castro agents who charged them with counter-revolutionary
activities. By 4:00 P.M. on the same day, Bobby Fuller and the
three others were placed in a sham trial held in Santiago de
Cuba. They were all convicted within a few hours followed by an
immediate appeal which took less than fifteen minutes. Sentences
were instantaneously imposed and upheld as follows:
The two Cuban Nationals were sentenced to imprisonment.
The two Americans were sentenced to death by firing squad.
[For the sentences of remainder of the invasion force, see document 0118]
25. By 4:20 A.M.-October 16, 1960, less than twenty four hours
after his capture and arrest, agents of the Castro Government in San
Juan Hill, acting under orders of the Castro Government, led Bobby
Fuller to a firing squad where he was shot and killed after being
tortured by having his blood drained from his body. Thereafter,
his body was thrown into an unmarked mass grave in an unknown location
COUNT 1-WRONGFUL DEATH
26. Plaintiff re-alleges and reasserts paragraphs 1 through 26 as if fully set forth herein.
27. On October 16, 1960, Defendant, CUBA intentionally,
unlawfully, and with complete disregard for human life, tortured and
executed ROBERT OTIS FULLER.
28. Defendant, CUBA caused the deliberate and wrongful death of
ROBERT OTIS FULLER by directing and participating in the torture and
execution of the deceased.
29. As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant's actions,
Lynita Fuller Caskey, as surviving daughter and Estate of Robert Otis
Fuller have suffered the following damages:
a. Lynita Fuller Caskey, as surviving daughter, has lost the
support and services of the Decedent, Robert Otis Fuller in the past
with interest and will continue to suffer such losses in the future,
b. Lynita Fuller Caskey, as surviving daughter, has suffered the
loss of the father's love companionship and protection in the past will
continue to suffer such a loss in the future.
c. Lynita Fuller Caskey, as surviving daughter, has suffered
severe mental pain and anguish in the past and will continue to do so
in the future.
d. The Estate of Robert Otis Fuller lost net accumulations and sustained economic losses, and;
e. The Estate of Robert Otis Fuller also seeks compensation for
the pain and suffering of Robert Otis Fuller prior to his death.
f. Any and all other damages to which Plaintiff may be entitled.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, LYNITA FULLER CASKEY demands judgment against THE
REPUBLIC OF CUBA for compensatory damages, plus interest and costs.
COUNT II-PUNITIVE DAMAGES.
30. Plaintiff realleges and reasserts paragraph 1 through 26 as if fully set forth herein.
31. The extreme and outrageous acts of CUBA, the Defendant, in
intentionally torturing and executing the deceased, ROBERT OTIS FULLER
constitute willful and/or wanton
32. Pursuant to 28U.S.C. 1606, Plaintiff, Lynita Fuller
Caskey is entitled to recover punitive damages from Defendant, CUBA for
this extreme and outrageous conduct.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA for punitive damages.
JOHN S. GAEBE & ASSOCIATES, P.A.
Counsel for Plaintiff
2950 S.W. 27th Avenue
Miami, FL 33133
Phone (305) 445-3800
Fax (305) 448-5800
RASCO REININGER, PEREZ
& ESQUENAZI, P.L.
Counsel for Plaintiff
283 Catalonia Avenue, 2nd Floor
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Phone (305) 476-7100
Fax (305) 476-7102
JOHN S. GAEBE, ESQ.
Fla Bar No. 304824
ALFONSO PEREZ, ESQ.
Fla. Bar No. 220620
End of Page
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