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Force Majeure Clauses Hard to Invoke, Even in Pandemic (Video)

May 4, 2020, 3:25 PM

Covid-19 has shuttered businesses, wreaked havoc on the economy, and disrupted contractual agreements worldwide. As parties assess the fallout, many legal teams are exploring whether to turn to a rarely tested section of their contracts: the force majeure, or act of god, clause. Reserved for relieving parties from their obligations due to extraordinary events that make contract performance impossible — such as extreme weather, war, or terrorism — force majeure is notoriously difficult to invoke. Bloomberg Law explains the force majeure clause in this video, featuring Bloomberg Law’s Ellen M. Gilmer and University of Colorado Law Professor Andrew Schwartz.

Editor’s note: The NBA contract stipulates the league can dock 1/92.6 of a player’s seasonal salary per canceled game. For the purposes of force majeure, the league considers a season to consist of five preseason games, 82 regular-season games and 5.6 playoff games.

To contact the producer of this video: Andrew Satter in Washington at asatter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the executive producer responsible for this video: Josh Block at jBlock@bloomberglaw.com

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