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OPINION: Know how your contracts are set up to deal with pandemic-related delays

Eric Meier is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based partner at Husch Blackwell and is leader of the firm’s Construction Academy team. He represents construction and business clients from contracting through litigation and every point in between. (Photo courtesy of Husch Blackwell)

It is not hyperbole to say that the whole world is in the midst of unprecedented times. Although the federal government has not issued specific mandates to the construction industry, states and cities have enacted their own policies, first as part of “stay at home” and not as part of “return to work” orders. At each end of the stay-return spectrum, most jurisdictions have deemed construction an “essential business,” allowing projects to continue.

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COLUMN: Tips for negotiating ‘force majeure’ clauses amid COVID-19


“Force majeure” is a French phrase meaning “superior force.” It is also the name given to a common contract clause, which has the effect of excusing a party’s performance under the contract upon the occurrence of certain events beyond the parties’ control and which make a party’s performance under the contract impossible or unreasonably impracticable.

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