It won’t always be smooth sailing for Yasiel Puig. According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers rookie sensation is being sued for $12 million by Miguel Angel Corbacho Daudinot, who claims Puig knowingly made false allegations against him and gave false testimony during his 2010 trial in Cuba.
Puig's testimony helped lead to a guilty verdict that resulted in Corbacho Daudinot receiving a seven-year prison sentence. Corbacho Daudinot is now seeking damages for “prolonged arbitrary detention and torture” and through his lawyers has filed his complaint in a federal district court in Florida.
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.
Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passan recently wrote about Puig's numerous attempts to defect from Cuba. It's a worthwhile read that sheds light on the process Puig had to go through before finally defecting successfully in June 2012.
As for Corbacho Daudinot, after serving 3 1/2 years of his sentence in prison, he'll serve the next 3 1/2 under Cuba's “provisional liberty” program, which means he's free but his travel is restricted and he cannot return home to the Dominican Republic, where he's a permanent resident. Corbacho Daudinot's lawyers also contest their client is in poor mental and physical health because of his incarceration.
Though he remains in Cuba, Corbacho Daudinot was able to file his lawsuit in Florida under the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991.
I'm not much of a legal expert, so I'm not exactly sure what the next step will be in this case, but we'll definitely keep an eye on it and let you know as the story either unfolds or quietly fades away.