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Hollywood COVID-19 Force Majeure Claims


In addition to shuttering businesses and ravaging jobs, the coronavirus pandemic has raised a variety of complicated legal issues for the entertainment industry. That includes whether some of pandemic’s impacts are so unforeseen and beyond control that they void certain contractual obligations under the legal principle known as “force majeure.”

Travel restrictions, social distancing obligations, mandatory quarantines and actual infections have already halted a wide range of entertainment productions. The good news for the people or companies contractually obligated to make concerts, film productions and other entertainment activity happen is that legal agreements often come with a force majeure clause, excusing performance of the contract in unforeseen situations in which it is impracticable.

At Tesser | Grossman LLP, our Los Angeles entertainment lawyers are helping clients navigate a full array of legal issues related to the pandemic, which includes contract disputes involving force majeure clauses. We are seasoned litigators who work diligently to resolve these matters without lengthy court battles while standing ready to go to trial when needed.\

How Force Majeure Works

Force majeure provisions generally excuse obligations under a contract in certain situations outside the parties’ control that make carrying out those obligations impossible or highly impracticable.

The kinds of circumstances covered by these clauses often include natural disasters and severe weather events, like hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes. Acts of war or terrorism attacks are also often considered to excuse contract performance in many agreements. The same goes for labor strikes, some accidents and certain government actions, like condemnations, expropriations of legal changes.

Whether the coronavirus pandemic triggers a force majeure clause depends largely on how that provision is drafted in the specific contract. The virus – and government stay-at-home orders designed to prevent the spread of the disease – have certainly made it difficult to perform a wide range of activity in recent months. But there is little sign from courts in California and elsewhere as to how judges may interpret contract provisions in light of the pandemic. That makes seasoned legal experience vitally important to anyone in a pandemic-related contract dispute.

How Our Los Angeles Entertainment Lawyers Can Help

If you are locked in a contract dispute over performances, productions and other activity interrupted by the pandemic, the Los Angeles entertainment lawyers at Tesser | Grossman can help. Our attorneys help people and businesses draft legal agreements and understand their obligations.
We have significant experience handling a wide range legal issues for entertainers and businesses in California and across the country. Our firm has a strong track record of success for clients in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. We are also pleased to be able to offer a number of fee arrangements.

We are conveniently located in Los Angeles, where our lawyers serve clients throughout the state and around the globe. Contact us online or call 310-207-4558 to schedule a free, confidential consultation with an entertainment attorney.