Is Coronavirus a Force Majeure Event?

By Jeffrey Wolfe, Esq., Attorney at Sachs Sax Caplan, P.L.

As the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic expands, we are receiving an increasing number of calls from clients as to whether COVID-19 provides an excuse for nonperformance under a contract (mostly in the context of purchase agreement, leases and business contracts).

As is the case of most legal questions, there is no general answer, it depends upon the facts. Some contracts have a “force majeure” clause which excuses a party’s performance for certain events that are not within a party’s control, such as Acts of God, terrorism, and war.

Whether COID-19 qualifies as a force majeure event will depend on the wording in the agreement, as well as the surrounding facts.

Parties need to be careful not to declare force majeure if their agreement does not contractually entitle them to do so as such action could constitute a breach of contract.

Please contact our firm with any questions or concerns. We would be happy to assist you in determining whether COIVD-19 qualifies as a force majeure event under your agreement.

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