The ability to seek financial redress from tortfeasors is a cornerstone of our legal system. Regrettably, under current New York law, the chances of holding anyone accountable for the COVID-19 nursing home carnage is slim to none. There is, however, even a bigger question. We are now one year into what is arguably the largest mass tort case in human history. The damage has been catastrophic. The prospective defendant, we are told, will soon be the world’s largest economy. Yet barely a word has been mentioned about holding China accountable, certainly in the pages of this journal. To my recollection, the only significant proposal was put forth by Senator Tom Cotton. His proposed bill would strip China of immunity, in the same manner which now permits claims against Saudi Arabia for its role in the 9/11 attacks. Yet the silence on this issue has been deafening. Once can only hope that our sense of justice, and our history of holding individuals, corporations, and governments accountable for their actions prevails.
Stuart M. Rissoff