Three Westchester residents — including a doctor — have filed a class action lawsuit against the World Health Organization, claiming the agency covered up the coronavirus pandemic.
The suit, filed Monday in the federal court in White Plains, also accuses the WHO of gross negligence for its handling and response to the global outbreak.
“The WHO mishandled and mismanaged the response to the discovery of the coronavirus and upon information and belief, engaged in a cover-up of the COVID- 19 pandemic in China,“ read part of the suit.
The lawsuit accuses the WHO of “causing and/or contributing to the subsequent spread of the coronavirus all over the world, including to the United States of America and the State of New York.”
The lead plaintiffs in the suit — Richard Kling, a doctor, Steve Rotker, and Gennaro Purchia — claim they were “injured and damaged by WHO’s negligent conduct.”
Both Kling and Rotker are from New Rochelle — the first coronavirus hot spot in the state that in early March had a mile-radius coronavirus “containment zone” in a part of the community.
On March 2, attorney Lawrence Garbuz, 50, was revealed to be the first known carrier in New Rochelle after he attended the Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue.
The suit seeks unspecified damages for what they called WHO’s “incalculable” harm to the roughly 756,000 adult residents in Westchester County who would make up the class.
Chimène Keitner, an international law professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, said the lawsuit will likely be dismissed because US law affords the WHO “functional immunity” from such cases.
Neither the WHO or lawyers representing the plaintiffs responded to requests for comment from Reuters.
With Post wires