BOCA RATON, Fla. — A federal class-action lawsuit has been filed against the Chinese government "for damages suffered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic."
The Berman Law Group, based in Boca Raton, filed the lawsuit Thursday in Miami federal court.
According to the complaint, the People's Republic of China and the city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began, are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
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"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," attorney Matthew Moore wrote in the lawsuit.
Two Miami-Dade County residents and two Palm Beach County residents are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, "named plaintiffs have been in close proximity to the negligent conduct causing their injuries."
"Chinese officials knew by Jan. 3 that COVID-19 was transmitted human to human and patients started dying a few days later," Moore said in a news release announcing the lawsuit. "Yet they kept telling the people of Wuhan and the world at large that everything was fine, even holding a public dinner in Wuhan for over 40,000 families on Jan. 18."
The lawsuit seeks billions of dollars in compensatory damages for those who have suffered personal injuries, wrongful deaths, property damage and other damages as a result of China's failure to contain the coronavirus.
"This is an ambitious action against a world superpower," firm co-founder Russell Berman said. "But China has unleashed a pandemic upon the world, and the harm is now exponentially multiplying every day here in the U.S. and Florida."