COVID 19 is causing substantial disruptions to the performance of construction contracts. It appears that these disruptions will be widespread and long-lasting, including the possibility of government mandated shut downs. Most contracts contain a force majeure clause that protects the contractor by providing for a time extension when performance of the contract is frustrated by unforeseen intervening forces. In order to invoke the protections of a force majeure clause the contractor must comply with contractual notice provisions. In addition to force majeure clauses in contracts, the law provides “impracticability” as an affirmative defense in contract disputes.
The notice requirements applicable to each project will vary with each specific contract form. In addition, attention needs to be paid to effective documentation of impacts to schedule and productivity. If you have any questions or want to discuss strategy for dealing with the project impacts of Covid 19 please give us a call.
Groff Murphy has focused on construction law and government contracts since 1992, representing a wide variety of construction industry clients throughout the Western United States. We couple small-firm attention with big-firm service and results. From contract negotiation and drafting to complex claims, our attorneys have the experience and skills to help our clients navigate legal challenges and keep building.