December 24, 2008
Mass Tort Litigation & Preemption, Chinese-Style
Basically, it appears you sue the government for negligence in school-building construction that contributed to thousands of nationwide school-children earthquake deaths, and they just tell you to go away -- with the "judge t[elling] parents' representatives that government internal documents made it clear that the court should not be involved." That's according to an article in today's Wall Street Journal that describes a lawsuit by parents of Fuxin No. 2 primary school in Wufu, China. Indeed, even finding a lawyer is difficult because as one parent noted, "All the lawyers told us the government didn't allow them to receive such cases."
UPDATE: More from the Wall Street Journal Law Blog:
Sang [(who is one of the parents suing)], reached on his cellphone, told the WSJ that he’s moving around in an effort to avoid the police, fearing that he will be detained. Sang said that families who lost children have each received an average of about 60,000 yuan, or about $8,800, in payments from government agencies.
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