Force majeure is a French term translating to “greater force”.
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- According to Merriam-Webster, force majeure is defined as 1. Superior or irresistible force 2. An event or effect that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled.[i]
Force majeure is a French term translating to “greater force”. Force majeure is a clause included in contracts to remove legal responsibility for natural and uncontrollable calamities that disrupt the expected course of business and restrict those involved from fulfilling terms of a contract. These events may include armed conflict, labor strikes, and extreme weather.
Due to differing legislation and interpretations of force majeure, it is common in contracts to include specific definitions of force majeure. Some contracts will limit force majeure to “acts of god” such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes while excluding human influenced failures such as terrorist activities and mass failure of communication or electrical systems. The key would be having your contract written to detail the difference between an act of God and the other forms of force majeure.
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[i] “Force Majeure.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 14 July 2016