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.

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.