The first thing on everyone’s mind right now is the health and safety of our family, friends and neighbors. But as the quarantines and restrictions increase with the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19, businesses will start to be hurt as well. At some point, every business needs to know how coronavirus will affect their contracts. Are you going to get refunds for the things you already paid for? Are your construction contracts going to cost more because of delay?
The answer is: It depends.
If we want to predict the impact of coronavirus on business agreements, we have to read the agreements. They can treat the situation in a number of different ways. Many agreements have a force majeure or “act of God” provision. Maybe the contract calls these events “unavoidable casualties” or “events beyond the control of the parties.” The point is that different contracts may treat these situations differently. Let’s look at some examples: