8 Key Factors That Influence COVID Commercial Lease Suits
Litigation attorneys Theresa Wanat and Francie Trimble co-authored an article for Law360 analyzing factors to consider in litigation over pandemic-related commercial lease disputes. Many lawsuits have centered on what force majeure provisions in contracts say, how risk is allocated and whether performance is excused. The authors break down key cases answering these questions, from one in which the court found a tenant was not excused from paying rent because the parties allocated risk of a force majeure event to the tenant, to another in which the court found a restaurant was only required to pay rent in the same proportion as statewide restrictions. They then note eight factors for parties to consider in a lease dispute, including the clarity or ambiguity of the terms, whether the lease addresses the party's inability to pay and whether the lease has a defined purpose.