A surge of legal claims are being directed at China over the outbreak of coronavirus as people, business owners, and even American states seek compensation over the deaths and economic disruption caused by covid-19.
Lawsuits have already been filed by a ski resort hotel in Italy and the US state of Missouri, among others seeking financial compensation from Beijing over the effects of the pandemic.
The lawsuits reflect growing criticism around the globe of China and the WHO’s handling of the outbreak during the early weeks, with many suspecting a cover-up at the end of 2019 before the virus broke out from Wuhan.
Earlier this week, the US state of Missouri launched a civil lawsuit against the Chinese Government alleging that whistleblowers were arrested and the Chinese concealed the true nature of the coronavirus.
The State Attorney General, Eric Schmitt, said:
“The impact of the virus is very real. Thousands have been infected and many have died, families have been separated from dying loved ones, small businesses are shuttering their doors, and those living paycheck to paycheck are struggling to put food on their table. The Chinese government … must be held accountable for their actions.”
Other class action lawsuits have also been filed in multiple states across America, aiming to receive trillions of dollars in compensation from the Chinsese.
In Italy, a ski resort hotel issued a subpoena to a local court seeking damages from China’s Health Ministry for loss of business. The hotel had been booked out for the season due to the Alpine Ski World Cup before the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawyer representing the hotel, Marco Vignola, said:
“The early and sudden closure led to disastrous consequences, including the dismissal of all staff and the cancellation of contracts with suppliers.”
However, China is not the only target of legal action as hundreds of tourists have filed claims with local authorities in the Austrian ski resort of Ischgl.
The claims say that tourists were exposed to the virus due to the resort being kept open despite the high risk of contracting the virus.
While a further flurry of lawsuits are bound to come over the next few months, and years, China’s stance remains unwavered with the Chinese ambassador to the UK dismissing the legal claims, saying:
“This disinformation about China covering up, about China hiding something – this is not true.”
Source: The Guardian