ABA Journal – Can plaintiffs from other countries hold China legally accountable for the coronavirus pandemic in their respective courts?

Barely 24 hours after the World Health Organization officially designated COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11, the international legal blame game began. The first firm to file a lawsuit against the government of China and the Chinese Communist Party was Florida-based Berman Law Group, a Boca Raton firm with a heavy emphasis on mass torts and class actions.

Matthew Moore, the firm’s litigation attorney, stayed up all night drafting the complaint, which he filed in the Southern District of Florida the day after the declaration by the WHO. The case, a class action suit, was brought on behalf of individuals and small businesses alleging a variety of financial and health damages, on grounds citing China’s negligence in failing to contain the virus and in actively concealing the outbreak and its extent from the world.

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