The Volokh Conspiracy

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Volokh Conspiracy

Force Mineure and Contracts That Aren't Performed Because of Epidemics

I can't give a substantive legal analysis, but I dibs the label.


"Force majeure," of course, means (to quote Black's Law Dictionary):

An event or effect that can be neither anticipated nor controlled; esp., an unexpected event that prevents someone from doing or completing something that he or she had agreed or officially planned to do. • The term includes both acts of nature (e.g., floods and hurricanes) and acts of people (e.g., riots, strikes, and wars).

I assume that disputes over contracts that aren't performed (or aren't completely performed) because of the coronavirus will be filtered through the contract law rules that have arisen with regard to force majeure (though those rules are pretty complex, and can't be easily captured in one term, I think). But though I don't know the subject well enough to opine, I hereby dub it force mineure, to refer to the tiny size (though not tiny power) of our adversaries.