In over half a year, the virus has spread world-wide—leaving in its trail tragic losses in virtually every country it has touched. While the actual “costs” of the virus will likely never be quantified, the question of “who should pay for this?” is already being posed in American courts.

To date, over a dozen lawsuits have already been filed against China with plaintiffs ranging from putative classes of medical providers and small businesses to laid off workers to the state of Missouri. Each of these cases remains in its early stages, and, while the allegations are wide-ranging, most of the cases will start with the same bedrock question—can a sovereign government, like China, be sued in American courts for losses due to the virus?

Click here to read Steptoe’s Client Alert for more information on how sovereign immunity could play out in COVID-19 litigation.