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Two COVID-19 Cases Filed Against People’s Republic of China (PRC)

New York, NY, May 05, 2020 –(– During this time of uncertainty, as the coronavirus continues to upend lives and businesses, the need for the rational and consistent application of the Rule of Law has never been more urgent. Legal Language Services’ (LLS) senior consultant, Tom McLean, Esq. and LLS’s president, Victor Hertz, reviewed two recently-filed lawsuits related to the pandemic, brought against the People’s Republic of China (PRC). These suits are representative of several similar cases, including those brought by the Missouri and Mississippi Attorneys General.

The Two Cases

Both suits against the PRC were brought under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and, according to McLean, “appear to suffer from weak causation, scapegoating China for the pandemic.” Similar cases, such as the complaint brought by Liang Xuguang against the US Federal Government (among others), have also been filed in the PRC. LLS’s blog post – Panic, Pandemic, and the Rule of Law – examines the causation, decisions and validity of these two lawsuits.

Case 1, Alters v People’s Republic of China, is a class action asserting that the PRC acted in its own best interest to maintain its “Superpower status” and negligently failed to contain the COVID-19 virus in Wuhan. [1]

Case 2, Buzz Photos v People’s Republic of China, is an attempt by a business to recover damages arising from COVID-19-related lost sales and layoffs. [2]

Do These Cases Deserve Their Day in Court?

LLS believes everyone deserves their day in court. “Perhaps the attorneys who filed these cases know more than they let on in their complaints. If so, these cases have merit and should be heard even if President Xi and the PRC government disagree,” said McLean. He adds, “If these cases are weak and have been filed for publicity, rather than a true hope of recovering money, then they do a disservice to the United States and its judicial system. If the US judicial system works as it should, then the litigants in these cases will not prevail.”

Hertz points out that “similar litigation was filed after the 9/11 attacks, seeking damages from Saudi Arabia. Those cases were dismissed by the Supreme Court.” [3]

“It is essential that the legal profession uphold the Rule of Law when society is stressed and people feel at risk,” Hertz reiterates. “Ultimately, good litigation will produce good precedents and these cases against China will rise or fall on their own merits.”

[1] 1:20-cv-21108 (SD FLA 2020)
[2] 3:20-cv-00656 (ND TX 2020)
[3] Supreme Court decision No. 08-640 in the matter of Federal Insurance Co., et al. v. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, et al.

About Legal Language Services

Since 1983, Legal Language Services has helped US law firms, sole practitioners and governments communicate across linguistic and political boundaries. LLS is the premier source of legal translation in the United States. They also provide the interpreting backbone for 911 calls. Having been through fires, floods, hurricanes, recessions, stock market crashes and the aftermath of 9/11, they have the experience and the expertise to get through the COVID-19 crisis.

Additionally, LLS offers:

· Secure HIPAA-compliant 24/7 telephonic interpreting service in more than 200 languages and dialects.

· Interpreting services are available on demand via a secure HIPAA-compliant video-remote platform, available in twenty languages, including American Sign Language (ASL).

· Verbatim transcription, legal services and a broad spectrum of international litigation services, including expert consulting on international service of process, legal discovery services and evidence-taking abroad.

For more information about Legal Language Services, please visit their website at

Contact Information:
Legal Language Services
Dan Dalton
Contact via Email

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