(USA Features) A Florida-based law firm has filed suit against the Chinese government seeking damages for allegedly mishandling the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The Epoch Times reported Friday that the firm claims their clients “have or are virtually certain to suffer physical illness or death, as well as emotional distress” because of the pandemic, which has now hit the United States.
“We feel that the Chinese government knew about the disease,” said senior litigation strategist of The Berman Law Group Jeremy Alters in an interview with NTD News.
“They knew about the virus, they did nothing to contain it, and they tried to protect their own economic self-interest, and didn’t disclose what they knew, until it was too late, and it became a widespread pandemic thereafter,” Alters continued.
He added that reports and other evidence indicate that Chinese government officials were aware of the virulent nature of coronavirus before Jan. 1 but hid facts from the outside world.
The initial complaint cites a series of events that accuses the communist regime of deceptively downplaying the outbreak, including censoring eight Chinese doctors who tried to raise the alarm about the SARS-like virus.
Alters said the initial period of 2-3 weeks were vital and could have made a big difference in the outbreak.
“But we won’t know the extent of the damage until, hopefully very soon, this all passes,” he said.
“But once that is done, I expect it to be in the hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars, that we will be seeking. Will we recover that?
“Again, that is up to China’s participation, and up to China to take responsibility for what they’ve done,” he said.
Asked how the Chinese government could be forced to participate in the lawsuit, Alters said actions could be taken against Chinese assets like seizing cargo ships that come into U.S. harbors.
Currently, there are five plaintiffs involved in the suit, all of whom are business owners who have lost money due to the pandemic.