Families of victims of Covid in Italy take government to court

ROME – Five hundred families of coronavirus victims are filing lawsuits against Italy’s regional and national governments, which they hold responsible for a series of omissions, errors and delays during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The families say that the national government and regional authorities in the hard-hit region of Lombardy were not prepared for the crisis when the virus spread and did not take measures that could have prevented a national blockade and subsequent economic damage, as well as loss of life. .

Italy has become one of the first epicenters of the pandemic, with its health system brought to the breaking point. Nearly 70,000 people have died of coronavirus in Italy so far, the highest mortality count in Europe.

Members of the group Noi Denunceremo, or We Will Denounce, arrive at the court in Bergamo, Italy, on July 13.Claudio Furlan / AP file

“These complaints are our Christmas present for those who should have done what they should have done and did not do while in Italy, on December 25th, there will be 70,000 empty seats,” Luca Fusco, chairman of the coronavirus advocacy group Noi Denunceremo , or We Will Denounce, which launched the lawsuit, said in a statement.

“With proper planning, as repeatedly requested by the EU and WHO, we are sure that there would be much less,” added Fusco.

The action names Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the president of the Lombardy region, Attilio Fontana, and the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza.

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The lawyers representing the committee are asking for monetary compensation of about $ 315,000 for each family, for a total of more than $ 120 million.

Representatives of Conte, Fontana and Speranza were not immediately available for comment.