With the many projects impacted by COVID-19, now is the time to pull out your contract (contractors and project owners alike) and consider how the contract’s delay, time extension, or force majeure clauses and other legal theories allocate this unusual risk. An extended and more detailed version of this Alert can be found by clicking here.
Force majeure clauses allocate risk of natural and unavoidable catastrophes that affect contract performance. Most standard US construction contracts (e.g., American Institute of Architects and ConsensusDocs) and federal and most state and local public construction contracts do not use the term force majeure, and instead provide relief for force majeure events in delay and time extension remedial clauses. Here we use the term force majeure to cover all such remedial clauses.