Grieving relatives are suing Italian authorities for negligence over their handling of the initial stages of the coronavirus pandemic, which left Italy one of the world's worst-hit countries.
The action alleges "serious omissions" by central and regional governments, a "severe delay" in closing off the infected towns of Alzano and Nembro, and the lack of up-to-date pandemic plans at local and regional level.
About 500 relatives of Covid-19 victims are demanding €100 million ($122 million) from Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Health Minister Roberto Speranza and the president of the Lombardy region, Attilio Fontana.
The case is being brought by Noi Denunceremo (We Will Denounce), a group set up in April to represent the relatives of people who died in Bergamo, one of Lombardy's worst-affected cities.
Italy was the first country outside China to suffer a major outbreak of coronavirus and is one of the worst hit, with about 70,000 reported deaths so far.
"This case is our Christmas gift to those who should have done what they were supposed to do, but didn't," group president Luca Fusco said.
Noi Denunceremo said that when the outbreak erupted in Lombardy, local authorities and the central government failed to take the quick action that could have prevented the need for a national lockdown.
They also decried an alleged lack of preparation, with neither Rome nor the Lombardy region having an updated plan in place to deal with a potential pandemic.
"The authorities will be asked for an average compensation of €259,000 per person for a total outlay of about €100 million," the group said.
In June, Noi Denunceremo asked prosecutors in Bergamo to investigate possible criminal responsibility in the management of the pandemic. The representatives of the three politicians did not respond to a request for comment.