LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The family of a Louisville woman who died in 2020 of COVID-19 filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Chinese government.
The lawsuit states that Janice Mary Kelly died in November 2020 of pneumonia and acute hypoxic respiratory failure brought on by a COVID-19 infection. According to her obituary, she went to the old Loretto High School in West Louisville before growing up to teach at the Kentucky School for the Blind and start a family of four children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. .
The lawsuit, brought by Kelly’s ‘estate’, said the defendants are ‘responsible for the enormous death, suffering and economic loss they have inflicted on the world, including Janice Mary Kelly, and that they should be held accountable “.
The defendants are listed as follows:
- The People’s Republic of China
- The Chinese Communist Party
- National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China
- People’s Republic of China Ministry of Emergency Management
- Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China
- People’s Government of Hubei Province
- Wuhan City People’s Government
- Wuhan Institute of Virology
- chinese academy of sciences
The lawsuit claims the defendants tried to downplay the consequences after COVID-19 began traveling around the world, killing millions. It alleges that China “(engaged) in a campaign of cover-up and deceptive public relations by censoring scientists, ordering the destruction and suppression of valuable research, and refusing cooperation with the global community, all while violation of international health standards”.
A somewhat similar lawsuit — filed in 2020 by Republican Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who blamed China for the pandemic — was dismissed earlier this month by a federal judge. U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh said in his 38-page ruling that in this case, federal rules prohibit a sovereign foreign entity from being sued in U.S. courts.
The complaint alleges that Chinese officials are “responsible for the enormous death, suffering and economic loss they have inflicted on the world, including the people of Missouri.” Schmitt said the Chinese government lied about the dangers of the virus and did not do enough to slow its spread.
“Overall, the court has no choice but to dismiss this new claim for lack of jurisdiction in the matter,” Limbaugh said in the final line of the order to dismiss. The judge noted earlier in the notice that the civil lawsuit against China is one of many filed “amid the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Kelly’s estate has hired attorney Jason Todd Hardin, with Hardin Law PLLC in Louisville. The suit seeks an undisclosed amount of damages as well as a jury trial.
“Defendants, by their acts and omissions as set forth above, acted towards the late Janice Mary Kelly with oppression, fraud, malice, gross negligence and/or reckless disregard for the life and safety of others…”, states the court case. .
Copyright 2022 WDRB Media. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.