If you’re concerned about breaching a contract and allocating risks due to unforeseeable events occurring during a construction project, a force majeure clause may be the answer. This contractual provision benefits parties that are more vulnerable to breaching a contract due to factors outside of the party’s control. This is where a reputable Jacksonville construction attorney will be a vital asset. Read part 1 of this article to learn more.
Drafting a Force Majeure Clause
A force majeure clause can be general or specific in nature. However, a Jacksonville construction attorney will tell you unequivocally, that with any contract, specificity is critical. Courts will interpret the clause based on what is specifically listed in the contract. Before a party can take advantage of the clause, certain actions may be required such as a written notice within a certain timeframe. A breach of contract may be declared if a party fails to give proper notice. A party may be required to mitigate some of the damages caused by non-performance. The clause should address facts such as:
- The definition of force majeure events and what happens when these events occur
- How to deal with events that continue longer than expected
- The person responsible for suspending performance
When drafting the clause, avoid using standard clauses unless the clause covers all of the circumstances out of your control that applies to your unique situation. It’s also a good idea (when necessary) to include other circumstances outside of your control that would impact you such as economic factors.
The Absence of the Force Majeure Provision
Without a force majeure provision in place, contractual parties are subject to common law, except in the case of “Acts of God.” Having a force majeure clause is more likely to put you ease if an unforeseeable event occurs.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.