Coronavirus Lawsuits Against China – Symbolic or Serious?

As the evidence mounts, more U.S. states and citizens are filing lawsuits against China

Coronavirus has dominated the news for months now. And for good reason – it's not going away anytime soon. But the question remains – where did it start?  If the answer to this question is China, do people in the U.S. really believe they can acquire compensation from the foreign nation or are their lawsuits more of a statement than anything else?  

The answer – it's complicated.

China has publicly called the lawsuits absurd. Under both international and U.S. law, you can't sue a foreign state in a national court. There's an act called the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA Act) that states that with very few exceptions, the U.S. courts don't have jurisdiction over a foreign state's activities.

Could COVID-19 be one of these exceptions?

The jury is still out on this. Currently, several lawmakers, including Texas's very own representative Dan Crenshaw (R), are sponsoring legislation to change this. Crenshaw, along with Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) are proposing an amendment to the FSIA Act to create an exception to the act in the case of coronavirus. In an article on Fox News with Tom Cotton, Crenshaw stated that "The Chinese Communist Party unleashed this plague on the world through its cover-ups and deception, resulting in untold death and economic destruction. Its officials should feel the full weight of the American justice system."

So far, some of the pending lawsuits against China include the states of Mississippi and Missouri. Mississippi's suit, filed by the state's attorney general, Lynn Finch, says that China should be held accountable for a malicious and dangerous cover-up. Missouri's lawsuit alleges that China misled the World Health Organization and censured information about the virus.

There are also numerous class-action lawsuits filed against China in different areas across the U.S., including Florida, California, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and right here in Texas.

While many view these lawsuits as merely symbolic, and that Americans can't really sue China, the plaintiffs in each of these cases are very serious about the charges. From the loss of income from businesses to the loss of loved ones, damages resulting from the pandemic keep piling up, and many believe that it's time that China pays.

DeSouza Law Firm is a leading personal injury firm representing accident victims throughout Texas.

If you've been injured by a car, truck, 18 wheeler, company vehicle, or in the oilfield, call DeSouza Injury Lawyers today at 361-799-2222