Force Majeure Clauses – What Are They and What Do They Mean

The widespread impact of the COVID-19 virus on our daily lives is evident. Restaurants and bars are closed or closing, travel is restricted, and many of us are working remotely. For businesses, the outbreak may mean an inability to fulfill orders, provide services, make payments, or meet other contractual obligations.

Does COVID-19 excuse parties from performing under a contract? What happens if such parties cannot perform? In many contracts, including real estate leases, a “force majeure” clause can provide the answers.