The Berman Law Group, the Boca Raton-based personal injury firm, has been first out of the blocks to issue a lawsuit over the coronavirus, targeting a client as big as any they will ever sue: the Peoples Republic of China.
The China coronavirus lawsuit filed this week by attorneys Matthew Moore and Vincent Duffy alleges that the PRC failed to report and contain the virus promptly, or to disclose the number of cases.
“Given what was happening in the past few days in the United States, it seemed to the firm and Russell Berman, the head of the firm, we weren’t going to get any better,” Moore, who works in Los Angeles, told Law.com. “It seems like chaos is about to unfold on the United States. We wanted to address it, and get it out there.”
The ‘Chinese Virus’
The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic this week, and President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday, while other countries have announced major measures to lockdown their cities in an attempt to control the spread of the pandemic.
President Trump has received criticism for labeling the virus the ‘Chinese coronavirus’, but the lawsuit is clear in targeting the PRC for “. . causing a pandemic, yet slowly acted, proverbially put their head in the sand, and/or covered it up for their own economic self-interest,” the complaint says. “The defendants’ conduct has caused and will continue to cause personal injuries and deaths, as well as other damages.”
The Wuhan Weapons Lab
The lawsuit, on behalf of five Floridian plaintiffs, refers also to the Wuhan-based bio-weapons lab that could have developed the virus and then negligently permitted its spread globally.
The PRC, the lawsuit alleges, created “essentially a giant Petri dish” in the region near Wuhan, creating the global COVID-19 outbreak.
The lawsuit alleges claims of negligence, emotional distress, public nuisance and strict liability for “conducting ultrahazardous activity.”
“The PRC and the other defendants knew that COVID-19 was dangerous and capable of causing a pandemic, yet slowly acted, proverbially put their head in the sand, and/or covered it up for their own economic self-interest,” the complaint says.
“The defendants’ conduct has caused and will continue to cause personal injuries and deaths, as well as other damages.”
The coronavirus class action lawsuit was filed by Logan Alters, Marta Reyes, Lawrence Wood, Stephen Clyne, and The Pitching Lab, also known as TBT Training.
Pandemic Mishandled by the PRC
They seek to represent two Classes of people affected by the outbreak — a Class of all those in the United States affected by the outbreak, and a subclass of parties in Florida affected by the outbreak.
None of the plaintiffs have caught the coronavirus, but according to the pandemic class action lawsuit, they were still injured by the outbreak.
The coronavirus class action claims that people throughout the state of Florida, and people throughout the country were injured even if they have not been infected. They say the virus has taken an economic toll on the United States, and has caused panic, emotional distress and other injuries throughout the country.
The Targeted Parties
The plaintiffs have targeted their claims by filing against the People’s Republic of China, the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China, Ministry of Emergency Management of the People’s Republic of China, the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, the People’s Government of Hubei Province, and the People’s Government of City of Wuhan, China.
The Florida plaintiffs claim that COVID-19 spread from a bio-weapon lab and then into a nearby marketplace, from which it spread.
Allegedly, there are only two bio-weapon labs in the People’s Republic of China, and one of them is the National Biosafety Laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is reportedly China’s only “level 4” microbiology lab, dealing with “the deadliest of viruses.”
The lawsuit claims that it was this laboratory, located close to the marketplace where COVID-19 originated and allegedly escaped due to lax security or due to the sale of lab animals to the nearby markets.
Researchers in China have allegedly been known to do this instead of cremating them, as is required by Chinese law.
Regardless of how the disease spread, the Florida residents argue the Chinese government did not respond appropriately to the outbreak.
The Class Members in the China lawsuit are represented by Matthew T. Moore and Vincent J. Duffy of The Law Offices of Berman & Berman PA.
The Coronavirus Outbreak Class Action Lawsuit is Logan Alters, et al. v. People’s Republic of China, et al., Case No. 1:20-cv-21108-UU, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division.
What is the Coronavirus Lawsuit?
A lawsuit from a class action law firm suing on behalf of Florida plaintiffs
What does the lawsuit allege?
It alleges negligence on the part of the Chinese government in failing to contain and advise of the virus
Does it allege a bio-weapons link?
The lawsuit alleges a Wuhan-based bio-weapons lab negligently released the virus through the sale of lab animals to local markets
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