Judicial Watch files $20 trillion lawsuit against China for coronavirus

Judicial Watch reportedly filed a $20 trillion lawsuit against Chinese government agencies for allegedly violating international conventions related to bioweapons that resulted in the release of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Here is a brief summary from the complaint, which was filed today in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas:

This is a complaint for damages and equitable relief arising out of the creation and release, accidental or otherwise, of a variation of coronavirus known as COVID-19 by the People’s Republic of China and its agencies and officials as a biological weapon in violation of China’s agreements under international treaties, and recklessly or otherwise allowing its release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology into the city of Wuhan, China, in Hubei Province, by among other acts failing to prevent the institute’s personnel from becoming infected with the bioweapon and carrying it into the surrounding community and proliferation into the United States.

My understanding is that foreign governments have sovereign immunity and can’t be sued successfully.

Is this just a publicity stunt?

Or does the case have a realistic chance of getting real consideration in the courts?

There are certain Federal statutes that waive portions of sovereign immunity. But these sorts of lawsuits are very tricky. Hard to say how the District Court will handle it.

Even if it moves forward, what is the likelihood that Chinese agencies would even respond?

How could the courts enforce a judgement?

I think China will defend itself.

Unlike Iran, China has extensive property holdings in the United States that could be used to satisfy a judgement. China will not let a default judgement be entered, they will fight this.

Discovery would be very interesting if it actually moves forward.

What a silly lawsuit.

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I actually believe that the lawsuit has merit in the sense that there is good evidence that the virus originated in a lab in Wuhan as noted in an earlier thread:

My question is more about the likelihood of collecting damages in a lawsuit against a foreign government. A lawsuit against the Saudi government related to 9/11 is still going on after almost 19 years with recent allegations of witness intimidation:

20 Trillion?

Did they also demand unicorns?


I have not seen the actual filings, but US damages from economic dislocation, deaths, and health care costs could easily be $1 trillion or more. The rest may be punitive damages.

I would not be surprised if some US states eventually join the lawsuit. If they could go after tobacco companies, why not people responsible for the coronavirus?

Update: Here is a link to the text of the file for the lawsuit:


If bob up the road gives me covid19, can I sue him?

Judicial Watch, like everyone else, is phoning it in.


the US has extensive property in china tha could be seized by the chinese…last I heard hundreds of billions

“Buzz Photo?” What the hell.

How much does the USA owe China?

1.7 trillion. Just refuse to pay it, I guess, until China balances the books with injured parties, if criminal neglect or deliberate release are proven , of course.

Why would you want to trash USA’s position in the world? D Trump may have a propensity not to pay all his bills; do you seriously think that would work for the USA as well?

If the courts decided China was culpable, why would you let them not pay what they owe you but keep on paying them what you used to owe them. It’s a simple ledger transaction to deduct what someone owes you from what you owe them. No need to bank money into their account and wait for them to decide whether they will meet their obligations to you.

It looks like the first proposals for allowing lawsuits and criminal action against the China are moving forward:

“We need to move forward on the International Criminal Court in the Hague and file formal charges against China. We also need to waive China’s sovereign immunity in the United States and take away the assets of Chinese government and the Chinese companies that operate in the United States.”–Steven Mosher

Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) recently proposed legislation to allow the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate China for potential release of a biological weapon reaching American soil. His proposed bill would amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act to allow the DOJ to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic and grant jurisdiction to U.S. courts over the matter, allowing the DOJ to file claims against the Chinese Communist Party in America.

Meanwhile there is growing recognition in the US and UK that the virus may have originated in a Wuhan lab:

good luck with that.
all china has to do is sell off all the US bonds they owe at once. that would crash our economy much worse than covid 19 has.

Why do you think that would that crash the US economy? who would they sell them to?