New Delhi/Washington: A Washington-based advocacy group and a Texas company have filed a class-action lawsuit against the Chinese government for the novel coronavirus, demanding $20 trillion compensation for the damages caused by the pandemic.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a conservative lawyer Larry Klayman, his advocacy group Freedom Watch and Buzz Photos, a Texas company that specializes in high school sports photography. The petitioners have accused the Chinese government of developing the novel coronavirus as “an illegal biological weapon”. The complaint has alleged that the virus was “released by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, located in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus outbreak originated”.
“Although it appears that the COVID-19 virus was released at an unplanned, unexpected time, it was prepared and stockpiled as a biological weapon to be used against China’s perceived enemies, including but not limited to the people of the US,” the complaint said.
The US government has blamed Beijing for the coronavirus pandemic after the Chinese government held American soldiers responsible for bringing the contagious disease to China. The Trump administration pointed out that the Chinese government covered up the outbreak of the virus for a long time and even punished the whistleblowers who tried to expose it.
Klayman has sought compensation from the Chinese government because of its “callous and reckless indifference and malicious acts”. The Chinese people, he said in his complaint, “are a good people, but their government is not and it must be made to pay dearly”.
According to the lawsuit, Buzz Photos company lost roughly $50,000 last weekend due to school closures and sports cancellations and has been forced to lay off workers. “There is no reason why the American taxpayer should, contrary to the establishment in Washington, D.C., have to pay for the tremendous harm caused by the Chinese government,” Klayman said in a statement on his website.
(AARTI TIKOO SINGH)