Contract clause could cancel obligations during COVID-19 pandemic

Mar 23, 2020, 4:15 AM | Updated: 8:27 am
(Pexels photo)...
(Pexels photo)
(Pexels photo)

PHOENIX — As coronavirus continues to spread throughout Arizona and the U.S., daily routines, work and school schedules have all had to be adjusted.

Even certain contractual obligations may be nullified in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, depending on the stipulations outlined in a given legal document.

Some contracts contain a cancellation clause known as “force majeure.”

“It’s a French phrase and it translates literally to ‘superior force,'” attorney Marc Lamber of Fennemore Craig law firm told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Certain types of disasters or pandemics may qualify as that which could legally override some contractual agreements.

However, Lamber recommends contract holders inspect their documents carefully regarding possible cancellations.

“You don’t want to invoke a clause that may not apply, and by you invoking it, you may cause a breach of contract,” he said.

In the current crisis, Lamber hopes involved parties can put their fights aside and reach new agreements.

“It shouldn’t take a lawyer to say this: I hope we all act with decency given the circumstances,” Lamber said. “We’re all affected by this.”

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Contract clause could cancel obligations during COVID-19 pandemic