So Far, a Narrow View of the Pandemic as a Force Majeure EventOn July 24, 2020 by Schnader
Jonathan W. Hugg published an article in Corporate Counsel, “So Far, a Narrow View of the Pandemic as a Force Majeure Event.” Hugg is co-chair of Schnader’s Financial Services Litigation Group.
“Until the COVID-19 pandemic, most lawyers would strain to recall that the force majeure clause was a bit of obscure boilerplate buried in the depths of a contract that sometimes excused performance if there were Acts of God or similar events beyond the reasonable anticipation or control of the parties. However, lawyers now spend hours parsing the words of force majeure provisions to predict the impact of the pandemic on their clients’ deals, agreements and leases.
On June 3, in In Re: Hitz Restaurant Group, a federal bankruptcy court issued one of the first judicial decisions squarely interpreting a force majeure clause in the context of COVID-19. The result suggests that courts will recognize the pandemic as a force majeure event, but also that courts will limit the pandemic-related relief they grant on force majeure grounds.”