Civil Justice for Victims of COVID Act would allow Americans to seek damages in federal court
WASHINGTON, D.C. (KYMA, KECY) - Senator Martha McSally (R-Arizona) joined with several of her Republican colleagues in introducing a bill aimed at allowing Americans to sue China for its role in causing the coronavirus pandemic.
The Civil Justice for Victims of COVID Act allows victims of the outbreak to file suit in federal court.
In releasing the bill, McSally wrote:
“Americans who have been victimized by the lies and deceit of the Chinese Communist Party—to include those who lost loved ones, suffered business losses, or were personally harmed due to COVID-19—deserve the opportunity to hold China accountable and to demand just compensation. Our bill will empower Americans to do just that by providing them with the legal tools necessary to sue the Chinese government in federal court for creating and worsening the COVID-19 pandemic. As the death toll and financial losses of COVID-19 mount, China should be forced to pay the costs of these damages to the American people.”Sen. Martha McSally, (R-AZ)
McSally introduced the bill with Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC). The legislation consolidates a number of stand-alone bills, all seeking to hold China's Communist Party accountable for the pandemic.
The Civil Justice for Victims of COVID Act:
- Gives federal courts authority to hear claims that China has caused or substantially contributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Strips China of its sovereign immunity for reckless actions that caused the COVID-19 pandemic and creates a cause of action.
- Authorizes federal courts to freeze Chinese assets.
- Is closely modeled after the 2016 Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) that gave more legal remedies to victims of terrorism, particularly those of 9/11 victims.