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Looking Forward: How to Approach Construction Contracts During and After the COVID-19 Outbreak featured image

Looking Forward: How to Approach Construction Contracts During and After the COVID-19 Outbreak

Over the past month, contractors have been looking through their contracts for what are known as force majeure contract clauses. These clauses excuse performance in the event of an “act of God,” an unforeseen circumstance like the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). And while reviewing your current contracts is vital, the question remains: how do we approach contracts moving forward? 

Below, a Tallahassee construction dispute attorney with Cotney Attorneys & Consultants discusses how your contracts should be drafted in order to protect your business during and after the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition to force majeure clauses, your contracts will need to include provisions that specifically address pandemics and effectively prevent disputes. Let’s take a look at how that can be done. 

Necessary Provisions and Language

Force majeure contract provisions are among the key contract provisions needed to combat coronavirus. These provisions should be included in all of your contracts going forward if they aren’t already. As mentioned, these provisions either excuse performance, end the contract, or provide contractors with some form of compensation following an unforeseen circumstance. 

Related: What Contractors Need to Know About Price Acceleration Provisions

Here’s the problem. Once the current pandemic ends, it could be argued that a pandemic is no longer an “unforeseen circumstance.” Virtually every contractor in the industry is now familiar with the employee absenteeism, material shortages, and delays that can be caused by a pandemic. Therefore, it is in your best interest to have contracts drafted that address material sourcing, payments, safety, and, more specifically, where responsibility for these concerns lies during a pandemic. Consult a COVID-19 construction lawyer with our law firm to ensure your contracts account for such circumstances. We also offer unlimited contract review for an affordable, monthly rate

Disputes Are Only Going to Be More Common 

Even with the appropriate contractual provisions in place, disputes are only going to become more common in the construction industry. In the past, we’ve recommended including provisions that require disputing parties to engage in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods prior to taking pursuing legal action. These provisions will be just as important moving forward, as you’ll want to avoid costly, drawn-out litigation. 

Related: Addressing Construction Disputes and COVID-19

For assistance ensuring your contracts are well drafted and your company is protected in the coming months, consult a Tallahassee construction mediation attorney from Cotney Attorneys & Consultants. 

If you would like to speak with a COVID-19 construction attorney, please contact us today

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.