Florida’s Berman Law Group is filing a class action lawsuit against China, claiming that their negligence and secrecy in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic caused untold damage to public health and the economy. More than 5,000 Americans have joined the suit, including hundreds from the health care profession, and lawyers involved in the suit told Newsmax this week that the legal action could ultimately hold Beijing responsible for trillions of dollars in damages.
“We’ve gotten calls from potential plaintiffs from over 35 countries, including folks from Russia and China,” said Vinh Vuong, a representative of the governmental relations firm of Lucas/Compton, which has partnered with Berman in bringing the suit. “We hope this becomes a global coalition of all nations affected to unite vs. the Chinese Communist Party for their continued unethical behaviors and actions. Enough is enough.”
Former Florida State Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, who consults with the law firm, said that China should be held financially responsible for its obfuscation.
“This could have been contained while Chinese officials instead attempted to put a positive narrative on the unfolding epidemic for China’s own economic self-interest,” he said. “When you read about the rising death tolls, and see the almost complete halt to normal life and travel, remember that China waited seventeen critical days before sharing the COVID-19 genome sequence with other nations.”
In remarks to Fox News, Jeremy Alters, the non-attorney spokesperson for Berman, said, “This is an undertaking against a world superpower who has the ability to pay for what they’ve done. They have the money to pay for what they’ve done, and we should all together make China pay for what they’ve done.”
While anyone who has watched the CCP cover up, lie, and hide the truth about the coronavirus can agree that they should be held to account, financially and otherwise, for what they’ve unleashed on the world, it’s not clear if this class-action lawsuit is the way to do it. Plaintiffs are likely to run head-long into the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), which bars Americans from suing foreign governments except under very specific circumstances. Among those exceptions: “personal injury or death” stemming from “the tortious act or omission of that foreign state or of any official or employee of that foreign state while acting within the scope of his office or employment.”
Berman attorneys claim that the plaintiffs meet the standard for these exemptions, but Yale Law Professor Stephen Carter said last week that FSIA restrictions prohibit “any claim based upon the exercise or performance or the failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function regardless of whether the discretion be abused.’”
“It’s hard to find a way around this restriction,” Carter wrote.
Well, we hope that the lawyers find that way, because we would love nothing more than to see China pay through the nose for what they’ve done to the world. One way or another, this needs to happen.