Believe it or not, a Florida law firm has sued Leave it to a Florida law firm to sue China over the new coronavirus. Yes, it is actually suing the government of the Peoples Republic of China, claiming that it wasted time suppressing information about the outbreak instead of warning the world the potential pandemic. Through the lawsuit, the law firm seeks compensation for the lives lost and the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic that has killed almost 200,000 worldwide.
At least three other similar lawsuits have been filed in federal courts across the United States against the Chinese government. The state of Missouri has sued the Chinese government in federal court over the coronavirus in federal court on similar grounds.
The firm that has brought the lawsuit is Boca Raton based Berman Law Group. Its spokesperson and chief strategist is Jeremy Alters, a disbarred Florida attorney. He has said, “Our people have been egregiously harmed. China and the Chinese Communist Party must pay for what they did.”
The lawsuit alleges that China hid the deadliness of the virus from the rest of the world for crucial weeks after the outbreak began. Since filing the legal action, Alters claims that the suit has had viral growth. Tens of thousands of people and businesses have apparently asked to join the lawsuit.
According to the article in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, legal scholars say that the chances of anyone being able to use U.S. legal system to obtain a money judgment against a sovereign, foreign government because of the outbreak of this deadly virus are slim. “This is as crazy as it sounds,” says Robert Jarvis, an international litigation professor at Nova Southeastern University. Jarvis said that United States law “sets a high bar for suing other countries within U.S. courts. Suits against other governments are regulated by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which establishes a blanket prohibition against suing other sovereign nations unless a legal action falls under one of the act’s nine exceptions.”