(Reuters) – A US judge has rejected a trial of residents of a suburban New York City county who accused the World Health Organization of gross negligence in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel said on Monday that the WHO was immune under its own 1948 constitution and the International Organization Immunity Act from the proposed class action lawsuit by the seven Westchester County plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs, including a New Rochelle physician and six Mount Vernon residents who received COVID-19, sought damages for adults in Westchester due to the WHO's alleged coronavirus degradation early in the outbreak, and failure to quickly declare a pandemic and coordinate a global response.
But the judge said that the WHO's pandemic response. involved political judgments in its sole discretion and rejected arguments that its alleged negligence waived its immunity. under [International Health Regulations].
The complainants also claimed that the pandemic "could probably have been before ventilated" had the WHO not been "complicit in the spread and normalization" of the Chinese government's "propaganda" after early COVID-1
The plaintiffs' attorneys did not respond directly to the request for comment. The WHO's attorneys did not respond immediately to similar requests. China was not a respondent. Seibel is based in White Plains, Westchester County.
968,000, became an early US hot spot after a lawyer attending a New Rochelle synagogue was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 2, 2020, nine days before the WHO declared a global pandemic.
The county has had more than 121,500 cases of COVID-19 and 2200 deaths. There have been more than 30 million cases and 550,000 deaths in the United States and more than 131 million cases and 2.8 million deaths worldwide.
The case is ing et al v World Health Organization U.S. District. Court, Southern District of New York, No. 20-03124.
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