As COVID-19 Deaths Mount, More Lawsuits Against China
Last week, Missouri became the first state to file a lawsuit against China on behalf of their own citizens. But several attorneys have taken on cases that seek to hold China accountable for the virus’s outbreak. These lawsuits face serious legal hurdles before they can actually make their way in front of a jury. Below, we’ll take a look at the allegations and the likelihood that any of these lawsuits will result in a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiffs.
What Negligence Did China Commit?
In the early stages of the virus, some were accusing China of having genetically engineered the virus and then allowing it to escape from a lab. Some people like the idea that the virus escaped from a lab, but don’t see any evidence that the virus was genetically modified or engineered. Even those who don’t believe the virus was created or escaped from a lab blame China for downplaying the severity of the virus and seeking to cover-up the outbreak in the early stages.
Any of these (if true) could form the basis of a negligence claim against China.
The Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act
Standing in the way of these lawsuits is The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act which limits tort or injury lawsuits against foreign powers or their political subdivisions. The law gives foreign governments broadscale immunity against injury lawsuits in the U.S., but does also contain certain exceptions that allow cases to move forward.
Unless the foreign government waived its right to immunity, the plaintiffs will need to prove that one of the allowable exceptions exist. What are those exceptions?
Well, one would be a foreign government operating on American soil causing injury to one or more Americans. Another would be any commercial activity that affects the U.S.
Even if attorneys prove that an exception exists, the case goes before a jury, and the jury returns with an enormous settlement, the question of how the plaintiffs will collect the money is a serious consideration. China will likely say that they don’t owe the money regardless of how the case plays out. This would leave attorneys for the plaintiffs needing to seize Chinese assets here in the United States.
There are several good reasons that will never happen. Firstly, China is our largest creditor and has already threatened to divest its U.S. security holdings. This would result in economic catastrophe in the U.S.
In other words, China is too big to fail and too important to the United States for economic reasons for politicians to make a move that threatens China’s economy. In other words, China has all the leverage.
Talk to a Houston Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured because of the negligence of another individual, company, or institution, call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Livingston & Flowers today to schedule your free case evaluation. Our attorneys have secured multi-million-dollar settlements for our clients and can help you too.