The coronavirus pandemic has caused significant disruptions to business markets, supply chains and workforce availability. Factories could see missed production quotas and manufacturing deadlines. Suppliers could have disputes with shipping companies, energy companies and supply clients. Workers could hold employers liable for missed contract work or exposure to the virus.
Force majeure clauses in contract disputes
Once business disruptions are alleviated, many businesses are likely to attempt to stop contract disputes through ‘force majeure’ (or Act of God) claims regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some legal liabilities a company might incur during these circumstances:
- A company’s insurance may not cover the kind of business disruption claims associated with the coronavirus spread since it is not representative of physical damage to the business.
- Employers may be liable for not protecting employees from transmission if they continue with meetings, conferences, or travel plans.
- Employers could violate privacy laws from the complex conditions of having workers conduct work from home.
The lasting repercussions of disease outbreaks
There is much uncertainty regarding the effects of the virus outbreak on business contracts and other business lawsuits. If you’re a small business owner, you could be particularly susceptible to a substantial lawsuit from breaches of contract, worker disputes and other liability issues. If you’re a business owner, you should contact a lawyer with experience in business litigation to explore all of your risk areas for litigation.