‘I don’t feel we had to have the loss of life. I don’t think we had to have the economy shut down. It disrupted all of American lives. I do believe we need to right some of these wrongs.’

In one case filed in Miami federal court on behalf of Andringa-Meurer and many others, attorneys Matthew Moore and Jeremy Alters of Berman Law Group are suing the Chinese Communist Party as an entity separate from the Chinese government.

‘They have their own assets. They are recognized as an independent organization. We are going to argue they are not a part of the government,’ Moore said. ‘There has been personal injury that happened in the United States.’

Added Alters: ‘They’re going to have to pay… We can say, “We’re not going to do business with you anymore.” When you hit them in the (gross domestic product), it hurts.’

Three years ago, the firm won a $1.2 billion (£960 million) case against China over the manufacture of defective building materials.

‘Ultimately, the Berman Law Group is seeking to have China compensate American citizens and businesses for the trillions of dollars in damages the have and will suffer because of China’s failures to act responsibly,’ the firm said in a media release.

Lawyers argued that although nations have legal immunity, there are exceptions under US law for personal or property damages and for actions abroad that impact on businesses in their own borders.