Black’s Law Dictionary defines a force majeure clause as “[a] contractual provision allocating the risk if performance becomes impossible or impracticable, esp. as a result of an event or effect that the parties could not have anticipated or controlled.” Black’s Law Dictionary 673-74 (8th ed. 2004).
A force majeure event is commonly considered to be caused by overpowering, superior, or irresistible force, such as an act of God, which is beyond the reasonable control of the parties and cannot be avoided by the exercise of due care.
In the days, weeks, and months ahead (if not already), many individuals and businesses will find themselves obligated by contracts but, in light of the Corona virus, might be unable to fulfill their contractual obligations or, alternately, they might wish to disavow their obligations under their contracts by invoking a force majeure event under their contracts.
Does the Corona virus pandemic qualify as a “force majeure” event? What is the legal meaning of “an act of God”? These questions cannot be answered without deeper analysis into particular facts and circumstances of any particular situation.
For a modest capped fee, LEVENTHAL pllc will analyze your business’ potential liability and/or the potential availability of a force majeure defense to a breach of contract claim. To schedule a free half-hour consultation, call 612-234-7349.