AG Fitch again attempting to serve Chinese government in COVID-19 lawsuit

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch
Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 5:24 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - More than a year after it was filed, the state of Mississippi has yet to serve China in its suit seeking damages because of the Coronavirus.

In May 2020, Attorney General Lynn Fitch filed suit in U.S. District Court seeking damages from China brought about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, the court noted that summonses to the Chinese government, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other agencies had been rejected and returned unexecuted.

On June 11, the summonses were reissued.

“The attorney general is undeterred in seeking accountability for the people of Mississippi and will continue to work through legal roadblocks set up by the Chinese government,” Colby Jordan, Fitch’s director of communications, said.

Jordan didn’t say what roadblocks the Chinese government had put in place, nor did she say how the Attorney General would get around those roadblocks.

Fitch’s office has had a hard time serving process since the case was initiated.

Parties in the case include the People’s Republic of China, the Communist Party of China, the National Health Commission of the PRC, the government of the Hubei Province, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and others.

In April, Fitch filed for an extension after parties rejected the articles served through the Hague Service Convention.

The extension was granted, with the attorney general getting an additional 180 days to serve process.

Fitch said at the time that the process would have to be served through diplomatic channels as a result.

Jordan, meanwhile, said, “consensus is growing that China was culpable, just as Mississippi alleged in our complaint.”

Other Republican leaders are joining that consensus.

On Tuesday, Sen. Roger Wicker said on social media that more experts are convicted that the virus was leaked from a lab.

“For months, Americans have been told that COVID-19 was an accident, and any other conclusion was absurd,” he wrote. “China must be held accountable for lying to the world.”

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