Published 13 May 2020
In recent weeks, at least seven class action lawsuits have been filed in federal district courts throughout the United States against the government of the People's Republic of China (the "P.R.C." or "China"), all relating to China's alleged liability for damages and injuries sustained in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Although plaintiffs in these lawsuits make broadly different claims, they all face the same highly formidable legal roadblock: a need to find exceptions that can pierce the presumptive immunity afforded to China and other sovereign nations under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act ("FSIA"), 28 U.S.C. § 1602, et seq., which would otherwise preclude their claims at the outset for lack of jurisdiction.