China Refuses to Accept Service of Berman Law Group’s Coronavirus Class Action Complaint
China’s Ministry of Justice claims that the Class Action lawsuit infringes on their sovereignty immunity and that China is not subject to jurisdiction of U.S. Courts.
JAN 25, 2021 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT; JAN 26, 2021
China’s Ministry of Justice has notified the Plaintiffs that it is refusing to serve any of the defendants in the country’s first-filed class action related to China’s role in the COVID pandemic. The lawsuit is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
The Ministry claims that serving the lawsuit on the defendants, including the Communist Party of China and the lab allegedly responsible for harboring the virus, would infringe China’s sovereign immunity and security.
“The fact that China cites their ‘security’ as a reason for denying that U.S. courts have jurisdiction for this lawsuit is particularly rich considering the abhorrent acts alleged in the complaint,” said Matthew Moore, lead attorney for Berman Law Group.
The First Amended Complaint, filed in May 2020, alleges that China’s Communist Party, through its various ministries, silenced those who tried to warn the world of the virus outbreak that became known as COVID-19 before it became a pandemic. It further alleges that these efforts resulted in a failure to warn and contain that caused COVID-19’s unprecedented, direct impacts on U.S. citizens and businesses, and therefore sovereign immunity does not apply.
Berman Law Group remains committed to the lawsuit and proving China’s responsibility. Under the international Hague Convention and established U.S. law, Plaintiffs may now seek a default judgment against the defendants.
In December, the lawsuit was transferred to newly appointed federal judge, the Honorable Aileen M. Cannon, and Plaintiffs look forward to demonstrating that sovereign immunity does not apply here.
“The lawsuit demands that China be accountable and pay for what they have done, and that China can afford to pay,” said Moore. “It is well settled that U.S. federal courts can establish jurisdiction over foreign assets held in the United States.”
The lawsuit is Alters v. The People’s Republic of China, case number 20-cv-21108-AMC.
Learn more about the lawsuit at demandchinapay.org.
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About Berman Law Group
Established in 2008, Berman Law Group has expanded to become a national law firm with numerous offices in Florida and across the U.S., after quickly garnering a well-deserved reputation as an indefatigable and fearless defender of its clients’ rights and social justice. The firm is headquartered in Boca Raton and has four other offices in Florida, as well as offices in New York City, Atlanta, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. For additional information see: https://www.bermanlawgroup.com/.
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