A group of small businesses in the United States, including Cardiff Prestige Property, Little Saigon Chamber of Commerce, First Premier X, and others, filed a lawsuit against the people’s Republic of China, Wuhan city and the Commission of health in this country. This writes TMZ.
According to the documents, small business group claims that the Chinese government in mid-November, knew that he was dealing with the “new” and potentially deadly virus, but said nothing about it and even tried to hide the information.
The lawsuit also alleges that, perhaps, biological weapons lab near Wuhan may be responsible for an infected bat that was on the market and was the beginning of the pandemic.
The lawsuit makes claims, as China allegedly knew about the impending pandemic early February and was obliged to notify the world health organization and neighboring countries, but did not.
As a result, as alleged in the lawsuit, China’s actions are costly to entrepreneurs around the world. The group is requesting damages in the amount of $8 trillion, which, according to them, they and other small businesses have either suffered or will suffer in the future in connection with the closing of the quarantine.
The President of the United States Donald trump himself put forward such accusations against China, claiming that he should have been more open about the scale of the problem.
Can I get compensation from China for pandemic
The author of the column in Bloomberg, Professor of law at Yale University Stephen Carter expressed his opinion about this situation.
“If you want to argue that the Chinese government has behaved irresponsibly, the official face of the country deserve condemnation around the world because they allowed the new coronavirus to take over the world, when early action could keep it under reasonable control, you will not get any arguments from me, says Carter. — Chinese authorities have chosen a denial, censorship and brutality, rather than transparency, which could save lives. The spread of false information contributes to the situation.”
“The legal responsibility, however, is another matter. The government of China is protected by the doctrine of sovereign immunity, and their reaction to the epidemic of the coronavirus is not a sufficient basis for the court”, says Carter.
“Sovereign immunity is not a service that the courts provide foreign regimes. It is an act of reciprocity between countries, a peace Treaty based on the General agreement that we will not allow our people to sue you if you do not allow your men to sue us, says the author. — The doctrine is so broad that a British court ruled in 1894 that even if a foreign ruler comes to another country under a false name and concealing his true position, enters into a contract, the trial against him will still be impossible.”
Until 1952, the U.S. has generally adhered to the position that the immunity of foreign sovereigns was absolute. But in that year the State Department took the position that it will more thoroughly examine the requirements of the immunity, if the matter concerns a commercial dispute.
This, in turn, led to the adoption in 1976 of the Law on foreign sovereign immunities known as FSID, — the Statute designed “to protect foreign sovereigns from the burdens of litigation”.
The protection of the law is so broad that the U.S. Supreme court ruled that a foreign state does not even need to file a response to the complaint — what lawyers call the attendance — to apply the immunity. For example, when the boy’s family allegedly killed the faulty hunting rifle, has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer owned by the Chinese government, the defendant did not bother to appear in court. Instead, the company only sent the claim papers back to the plaintiff, and eventually the company was recognized as inviolable under this act protection.
Of course, if control of the company is in private hands, sovereign immunity provides no protection. U.S. courts are willing to go far to trace the actual ownership of the foreign Corporation and to be sure that the government actually controls most of its stock.
“Yes, China’s behavior was reckless, but that possibility is inherent in the idea of sovereign immunity. Offences act is usually based on the assumption that people will take reasonable precautions if they know they will be held accountable for the harm they cause. Theorists call this process by forcing people to “internalize” the costs of his behavior,” the author writes.
“The Chinese government essentially made a bet that it will not suffer any punishment that the policy will be his protection. But the question arises: does this position work? The world has suffered losses in the trillions of dollars from their recklessness. The economic implications can continue for a long time,” writes the author.
Until the entry into force of the foreign sovereign immunities act in the late 1970-ies the State Department has considered the requirements of application of sovereign immunity in each case separately.
“Regardless, what will the world’s political leaders, a handful of judges in the United States can insist that some particular aspect of the pandemic means that the Chinese regime is responsible for FSID”, — says the author.
At the same time, U.S. courts are carefully monitored to ensure that the plaintiffs did not involve Chinese legal entity in lawsuits against the government. For example, a Federal appeals court in 2011 ruled that the law allowing lawsuits against foreign officials, cannot be used for suit, the company allegedly controlled by the Chinese government.
Class-action lawsuits against China serves in many States of the USA
Less than a month, more than 5 thousand US citizens have joined the lawsuit filed in court in Florida, which the authors require from the Chinese government compensation for damage COVID-19. The plaintiffs claim to have suffered huge losses due to the negligence of Beijing, responsible for distribution of the coronavirus worldwide. Similar class actions were also filed in courts in Nevada and Texas, writes “Voice of America”.
“Our claim is true of those who physically suffered as a result of exposure to the virus… it also applies to commercial activities of China’s trade-related in the markets where they sell the meat of wild animals,” — said representatives of the law firm Berman Law Group.
Lawyers refer to exceptions in respect of “commercial activities” and “bodily injury” in accordance with the Law on the immunity of foreign sovereign entities [FSIA] as a legal basis for suing China.
According to the estimates of British conservative think tank “the Henry Jackson Society”, a potential U.S. claim against China for damage caused by coronavirus can be $1.2 trillion. In a new report British intelligence has written that China is potentially liable for damage caused by incorrect actions in the early stage of the outbreak of coronavirus.
Speech, in particular, about the deliberate withholding of information from the world health organization: analysts called it a violation of the International health regulations.
The “Henry Jackson society” encourages countries to sue in China, putting 10 different legal ways to do this, including who, the international Court of justice, the Permanent court of arbitration, the courts in Hong Kong and the United States.
“Not just one, but a combination of legal paths can be the most effective way of doing it,” said Andrew Foxall, research Director of the “Society the Henry Jackson” and co-author of the report.
However, according to lawyer David Fiedler from the University of Washington in St. Louis, States, including the US, are unlikely to file formal complaints against China in pandemic coronavirus.
In the history of international law, the responsibility of the authorities of one state for damage caused to the other country, was first recognized by the court of arbitration in the 1920-ies. Canadian metallurgical plant, working in British Columbia, singled out toxic fumes, causing damage to forests and crops in adjacent areas of Canada and in the U.S. state of Washington.
To resolve the dispute, Canada and the United States created the Tribunal, with the result that Canada agreed to pay the United States compensation for damage caused by plant damage. Lawyers draw Parallels with China of responsibility for failing to contain the epidemic in the country.
“If in Canada at the time acted adequate laws for the protection of the environment, the steel mill does not pollute the atmosphere and not caused damage to the United States. If China were supported by an adequate regulatory regime for food safety, the spread of harm could have been avoided,” — says Russell Miller, a law Professor at the University of Washington.
William Starshaki, financial lawyer from Chicago, says that in China’s interest to take responsibility in this case, as did Canada a hundred years ago.
“It really will help China to take responsibility to collect all of these claims, which will be a great multitude, and which will have all sorts of geopolitical implications. It really is the only way by which China will be able to get out of this situation”, — said the Starshaki.