Is COVID-19 Legally an "Act of God"?

The first place many will look to is the often-overlooked force majeure clause buried at the end of their contracts. Force majeure clauses excuse performance for one or both parties due to an extraordinary event, one that is usually defined as an “Act of God.” While courts have typically limited these occurrences to extreme natural weather events they have never had to consider whether a pandemic with the global impact of COVID-19 should qualify as an Act of God. As many U.S. cities, and even states, ordered the closure of “nonessential” businesses, beaches, parks, and recreational venues, many were left wondering whether the economic fallout that would inevitably follow might excuse perform

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