Does your contractual force majeure address the epidemic hazard?

The Polish Civil Code does not contain a force majeure regulation, which permits modification of a contract in emergency situations. The legislator left this issue for parties of a contract to regulate. The standard wording of contractual force majeure refers to “epidemics”. Less frequent are provisions referring to “epidemic hazard”, i.e. a term from the […]

The Polish Civil Code does not contain a force majeure regulation, which permits modification of a contract in emergency situations. The legislator left this issue for parties of a contract to regulate. The standard wording of contractual force majeure refers to “epidemics”. Less frequent are provisions referring to “epidemic hazard”, i.e. a term from the Act of 5 December 2008 on preventing and combating infections and infectious diseases in humans.

Thus, looking purely formally at the current state of affairs in Poland, in accordance with the content of the Ordinance of the Minister of Health of 13 March 2020 on declaring an epidemic hazard state in the territory of the Republic of Poland, today we are dealing with an epidemic hazard in Poland, not an epidemic.

That poses a question whether the contracted regulation of force majeure will apply to the consequences of the coronavirus, specifically consequences resulting from the measures imposed in the Regulation of the Minister of Health of 13 March 2020?

Naturally, everything depends on the detailed wording of contractual regulation of force majeure. However, if a contractual “force majeure” does not cover “an epidemic emergency”, but solely “an epidemic” it is likely one remains with the statutory regulations.

What these regulations are? Ewa and Konrad explain legal toolbox in an article in Rzeczpospolita (link on Maruta Wachta profile). We will also post further information on how to legally respond to the current situation..