COVID-19 and Force Majeure in the Manufacturing Context

A. Richard M. Blaiklock

The global COVID-19 pandemic ground the world economy to a virtual halt in many sectors, including manufacturing. Many manufacturing lines slowed to a crawl or stopped completely. Travel became practically impossible, if not prohibited by various government orders. Despite that, supply contracts remain in place. What impact COVID-19 has on the legal relationships between customers and manufacturers will depend primarily on the presence — and nature — of force majeure clauses in the governing documents. This article will briefly explore some of the legal concepts that govern how courts will interpret force majeure clauses and the applicable Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”) provisions in the manufacturing context.

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