Group launches legal action against the Government over handling of Covid-19 crisis

By Jonathan Bell, The Royal Gazette (March 16, 2022)

A pressure group is to sue the Government for damages over its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Eugene Dean, of the Collective Action Solidarity Trust, said the group planned to launch a representative claim — a form of class action lawsuit — through the Bermuda courts, “and/or a class action under US law” against the Bermuda Government.

He said: “The term `silent majority’ has been used frequently over the past few years.

“When your ears are actually to the ground, there’s a lot more rumbling in the community than people recognise.

“We are hoping this process can bring people a sense of healing and togetherness.”

He declined to name the group’s legal team — but added that at least part of the case would be handled free of charge.

Mr Dean said the rest of the legal bill would be paid by Cast.

He added: “We know legal advice comes with costs. Private contributions are going to be a key component.”

The group has asked for damages claims to be submitted to its website, up to a deadline of April 14.

Mr Dean said Cast’s lawyers would evaluate the claims.

Mr Dean said the group would sue on varied claims, financial loss and loss of employment for people who had had a bad reaction to the Covid-19 vaccine or who were hit by the mandatory hotel quarantines enforced over the pandemic.

He added: “First and foremost, this is a place where people can tell their stories and have lawyers look at their scenario.”

He said “a lot of legal advice” had been taken ahead of the group’s announcement this week, which was made in an advertisement in The Royal Gazette.

The advert said that Cast planned to take action against the Government, “its advisers, and those yet to be named, for damages incurred by individuals and businesses for alleged public mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic in Bermuda”.

It said “potentially excessive pandemic protocols” had been implemented.

Cast said: “It is our intention to seek damages in this regard and ensure the Government ends any and all unnecessary emergency measures immediately.”

The group added that information on “physical, financial, legal, emotional and mental damages” would be held in “strict confidence”.

Cast said a collective action lawsuit could set a precedent for people in other countries to follow.

Mr Dean added that the group had been building over time because “a lot of people who were in support” of emergency measures had changed their views.

He said: “More and more people have found themselves frustrated and negatively impacted.

“It just got to a point where it appeared that until there was a group prepared to go on the offensive, nothing else would work.

“It’s not just a Bermuda thing — it’s happening all over the world.”