Force Majeure and COVID-19: Massachusetts Court Excuses Cafe from Rent Payments During Shutdown Order

On February 8, 2021, the Business Litigation Session of the Massachusetts Superior Court held that the doctrine of frustration of purpose excused a commercial food service tenant from paying rent for a four-month period during which indoor dining was prohibited. The decision comes from an influential court in Massachusetts and therefore could affect the outcome of other cases in which tenants seek concessions related to COVID-19 restrictions. However, some of the facts of the case are unique and the reasoning of the decision will not apply in all circumstances.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.