Coronavirus – A Force Majeure Event: What Damages Are Recoverable?

Date: June 08, 2020
Time: 01:00 PM ET
Duration: 60 Minutes
Speaker: James Zack



Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now a pandemic impacting construction projects globally. COVID- 19 has shut down projects; caused labor shortages on those projects still active; thoroughly disrupted supply chains for equipment and materials; and, even delayed mediation, arbitration, and litigation of construction claims. This webinar explores some key issues facing contractors and owners arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic and identifies cost and schedule damages being encountered on projects today. The webinar provides an overview of potential remedies and recovery of some project damages under construction contracts and explores how owners and contractors may be able to look to their insurance coverage as a form of relief from damages.

The webinar also addresses the recently issued Executive Order activating the Defense Production Act and how this action may help some owners and contractors through this difficult economic period.

Finally, the webinar offers recommendations on what can be done to mitigate damages on impacted or disrupted projects. Join this session by expert speaker James Zack, where he will discuss what comes under Force Majeure events, implications of current Pandemic and costs associated with it.

Session highlights:

·  Definitions of pandemics, force majeure, and exceptional events

·  The “tests” for these two events

·  Known and potential impacts on construction projects caused by COVID-19

·  Owner and contractor damages

·  Notice requirements as a predicate to recovering damages

·  Assessing COVID-19 damage recovery

·  Maximizing insurance coverage for COVID-19 impacts

·  Some currently unresolved issues arising out of this pandemic

·  Whether the resurrected Defense Production Act may mitigate some damages

·  Recommendations on mitigation damages on impacted construction projects


Benefits of attending session:

·  Learn what pandemics and force majeure or exceptional events are

·  What must be demonstrated when asserting force majeure or exceptional events

·  Explore the impacts of COVID-19 – work stoppages, labor shortages, disruption of supply chains, shortage of needed safety equipment and supplies, and the impact on dispute resolution mechanisms

·  Understand contractor and owner damages arising from this pandemic

·  Become aware of how to assess and recover COVID-19 damages

·  Be alerted to potential insurance coverage of such damages

·  Be exposed to how the recent Executive Order activating the Defense Production Act may assist some in getting through the ongoing economic downturn

·  Understand several currently unresolved issues arising from COVID-19

·  Receive some recommendations on mitigating damages caused by this pandemic


Who should attend?

·  Owners

·  Contractors

·  Design professionals

·  Construction managers

·  Attorneys for all project participants


James Zack

Jim is the Principal, James Zack Consulting, LLC and Senior Advisor, Ankura Construction Forum™. The Forum strives to be the construction industry’s resource for thought leadership and best practices on avoidance and resolution of construction project disputes globally. Expert Advisor for AlphaSights and Guidepoint Global Advisor.  Formerly he was the Executive Director of the Navigant Construction Forum™ and earlier, the Executive Director, Corporate Claims Management Group, Fluor Corporation, one of the world’s largest EPCM contractors. Mr. Zack was previously Vice President of PinnacleOne and the Executive Director of the PinnacleOne Institute and earlier a Senior Construction Claims Consultant for CH2M HILL, Inc. Mr. Zack has, for more than 48years, worked for both contractors and owners in 36 States in the U.S. and 39 countries abroad. Mr. Zack is a Fellow of AACE, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Guild of Project Controls and, the Society of Construction Claims Specialists International. 

In the construction claims field, he is a recognized and published expert in mitigation, analysis and resolution or defense of construction claims and disputes. Mr. Zack is a Certified Construction Manager (CCM), a Certified Forensic Claims Consultant (CFCC), an Expert Certified Construction Claims Specialist (ECCCS), an Expert Certified Construction Delay Analyst (ECCDA) and a Project Management Professional (PMP).