Lawsuits in France claim government inaction

March 26, 2020
French President Emmanuel Macron attends a videoconference with G20 leaders to discuss the coronavirus disease outbreak, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Thursday, March 26, 2020. European Union leaders are convening for their third summit in three weeks as they battle to contain the spread of the coronavirus and its devastating health impact while managing the havoc the disease is wreaking on their 27 economies. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (Benoit Tessier/Pool via AP)

PARIS — Six lawsuits have been filed in France accusing the government of not acting quickly enough to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

A judicial official told The Associated Press on Thursday the suits were filed by individuals or groups seeking the prosecution of government ministers for manslaughter, putting people in danger or failing to help people in danger.

More than 1,300 people have died from the virus in France. More than 25,000 cases have been confirmed.

One case was filed by a 46-year-old man from the Paris region who contracted the virus, his lawyer told France-Info radio. It accuses the government of “stalling” as the virus spread around the world.

France imposed nationwide confinement measures last week, nearly two months after the first cases appeared in the country.

The lawsuits were filed with a special court for prosecuting government ministers. It will decide whether to take the cases.

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