The introduction of the corona measures has a far-reaching impact on many companies and individuals. In this context, the question arises, among others from the construction sector, about the consequences of the fact that the initial agreements between parties can no longer be complied with. Can the contracting parties invoke force majeure or can they be required to fulfil their contractual obligations anyway?
If a contract has been concluded between the parties, it is crucial to read it. What was stipulated with regard to force majeure situations? In many cases, the contract or general terms and conditions state what, if any, is considered force majeure and/or what is explicitly excluded from the definition of force majeure. The consequences of no longer being able to comply with the contractual obligations are also often provided for.
If there is no contract or if you cannot rely on general terms and conditions, you will have to fall back on what the Civil Code provides in this regard. If the situation lends itself, one can possibly appeal to force majeure or the doctrine of unforeseen circumstances.
Agreement or no agreement, it remains important for the contracting party to submit the necessary evidence to demonstrate that he will not be able to meet his obligations or that he will not be able to meet them under the same conditions. If you cannot comply with the agreements made because of the corona measures, make sure that you inform the other party promptly and correctly. If you are the party who is told that your contractor will not be able to comply with the agreements made, you may also demand that proof of the force majeure/unforeseen circumstance be provided.
Regardless of which side of the argument you are on, it is still important to be reasonable and understanding of the other party. Reaching an agreement that is acceptable to both parties is what should be strived for. If you would like to know how best to go about this, feel free to contact one of our specialists.
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