Among its many far-reaching effects, COVID-19 has significantly impacted contract relationships the world over. Government-mandated lockdowns, travel restrictions, and various commercial shutdown orders have all challenged the ability of businesses to comply with contract obligations created prior to the outbreak of the virus.

Authors: John M. McIntyre

With various predictions of a second wave of cases on the horizon, businesses confronting these obstacles can consider a host of potential contract defenses including, force majeure, impossibility/impracticability, and/or discharge by supervening frustration of purpose. Three recent decisions, however, have highlighted some of the challenges to raising these defenses based on the ripple effects of COVID-19.