The COVID-19 pandemic and Governor Newsom’s “stay-at-home” order create challenges for businesses and landlords in California. As a result, parties to contracts could seek to delay or terminate their obligations. This article discusses some of the legal concepts with respect to delayed or excused contract performance.
Please note that federal, state, and local regulations, laws, and ordinances may override the common law and contractual principles discussed in the article.
A “force majeure” provision in a contract allows a party certain rights if a given event arises. For example, a contract’s “force majeure” provision might allow a construction company to temporarily stop construction of or repairs to a building in the event of a hurricane, a riot, or governmental mandates in connection with a pandemic that impacts their work.
Generally, for a party to invoke “force majeure”rights under a contract, the contract must: