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United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
April 5, 2021, Decided; April 5, 2021, Filed
No. 20-CV-3124 (CS)
[*144] OPINION & ORDER
Before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss all claims in Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint. For the following reasons, the motion is GRANTED.
For purposes of this motion, I accept as true the facts, but not the conclusions, set forth in Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. 31 ("SAC").)
Plaintiffs commenced this action against Defendant World Health Organization (the "WHO"), alleging negligence in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO "is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health." (SAC ¶ 12.) It acts within the United Nations system to promote human health and well-being, monitor public health risks, and coordinate responses to health emergencies. (Id. ¶¶ 32, 33.) The United States is a member nation of the WHO, providing financial [**2] and technical support and participating in the WHO's governance structure. (Id. ¶¶ 44, 95.) The WHO maintains regional and country offices throughout the world, including one at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan. (See id. ¶¶ 14, 58, 125.)
In December 2019, the first patients exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 were hospitalized in Wuhan, China. (See id. ¶ 48.) According to one study, "laboratory testing was being done on patients" who exhibited these symptoms in mid-to-late December. (Id. ¶ 52.) As early as December 27, 2019, "a Guangzhou-based genomics company had sequenced most of the virus," and it was similar to the deadly SARS coronavirus that caused nearly 800 deaths between 2002 and 2003. (Id. ¶ 53.) The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission ("WMHC") released a notice about the virus to medical institutions on December 30, 2019. (Id. ¶ 55.)
The WHO claims it received its first notice of COVID-19's existence on December 31, 2019, when its country office in China picked up on a media statement on the WMHC website. (Id. ¶ 57.) The WHO China country office then notified the International Health Regulations ("IHR") focal [*145] point in the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office. (Id. ¶ 58.) [**3] On December 31, 2019, the WMHC declared that investigations had not, thus far, "found any obvious human-to-human transmission and no medical staff infection." (Id. ¶ 60.) Plaintiffs allege that this declaration from the Wuhan health authorities was contrary to "the belief of the doctors working on patients in Wuhan." (Id.)
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
532 F. Supp. 3d 141 *; 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65765 **; 2021 WL 1254293
RICHARD O. KLING, M.D., BRENDA SUTTON, SHIRLEY MORTON, KENYA TUCKER, HAROLD WIMBUSH, SIMON ALLISON, PATRICIA HULL, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiffs, - against-THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, Defendant.
immunity, public health, discretionary, treaty, leave to amend, cure, district court, transmission, coronavirus, emergency, internet, virus, human-to-human, self-executing, disseminated, pandemic, notice, second amended complaint, amended complaint, Regulations, waived, media