25 May 2024
American Covid-19 patient sues China 3

American Covid-19 patient sues China 3

Before the Covid-19 outbreak, Saundra Andringa-Meuer, 61, was a healthy mother of six who had never smoked or drank alcohol.

Saundrea fell ill while traveling from her home in Wisconsin to Connecticut, USA, helping her son enroll in college.

Now, she, along with dozens of other Covid-19 patients in the US and a number of businesses, are participating in a new battle on the legal front: Suing China for spreading nCoV, a virus that has killed nearly 81,000 people.

`I think they hid it from the world and from the Americans,` she said.

Saundra Andringa-Meuer on a trip to Colorado, before contracting nCoV and almost dying in the hospital.

The US recorded at least 9 lawsuits against China with the content that Beijing did not fulfill its duty to control nCoV, sought to conceal the situation in Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, and conceal actions and information about Covid-19.

8 class action lawsuits representing thousands of people and businesses.

Lawsuits face many hurdles under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which says foreign governments cannot be sued in the US unless certain exceptional conditions are met, but it is not easy to prove this

`We think it’s going to be an uphill battle to take advantage of these exceptions,` said Robert Boone, a prosecutor in Los Angeles who specializes in class actions.

One exception being considered to strip China of its immunity is if its trade directly affects the US, or it is involved in wrongdoing on US territory.

The lawyers who filed the lawsuits say they can prove these exceptions and that if they win the cases, they will find some way to recoup their losses, like confiscating Chinese bank accounts or

`They will have to pay. We can say we won’t do business with them anymore. When we attack GDP, they will suffer,` said Jeremy Alters, a lawyer representing Saundrea and many of the plaintiffs

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang declared that the lawsuit brought by the state of Missouri was `absurd and has no factual or legal basis`.

Efforts are being pushed in the US Congress and some state legislatures to make lawsuits against China and other countries easier.

Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn, Martha McSally and Rep. Lance Gooden have filed a bill to `bring justice to America,` which emphasizes `the Chinese government is responsible for the pain

In New Jersey, three Republican lawmakers presented a draft resolution calling on US President Donald Trump and Congress to pass a bill allowing US citizens to sue China for `errors in handling Covid-19`.

It is unclear whether these draft laws and resolutions will be passed or not.

`If China’s immunity is removed, the court system will bear a huge burden,` prosecutor Boone said.

Saundrea said she still feels tired but is getting better.

`I’m still weak but extremely happy, I’m still alive,` she said.

The US is currently the largest epidemic region in the world with nearly 1.4 million infections and nearly 81,000 deaths.

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