Legal Blog

Hurricane Irma and “Frustration of Purpose”

Hurricane Irma has affected Southwest Florida in many different ways. For some, their business plans have been shattered as a result of the devastation. Such shattered business endeavors could implicate an interesting legal doctrine called “frustration of purpose.”

Frustration of purpose occurs “when one of the parties [to a contract] finds that the purposes for which he or she bargained, and which purposes were known to the other party, have been frustrated because of the failure of consideration or impossibility of performance by the other party.”

A simple example of this is as follows:

An event planner plans an entire wedding for the weekend of September 16th. Upon Irma damaging much of Southwest Florida, many if not all of her vendors for the wedding including the venue are unable to uphold their contracts due to impossibility of performance (see prior Boatman Law post).

However, an out of state company was used for certain wedding decorations. The out of state company agreed to provide the wedding decorations and is technically still able to provide those wedding decorations. However, there is no way for the wedding take place as a result of the storm. The purpose for which the wedding decorations were ordered, namely the wedding, has been frustrated. Unless the contract states otherwise, the wedding planner may have a frustration of purpose defense to a breach of contract claim by the wedding decorations provider.

This is one example of many possible scenarios where frustration of purpose can be applied as a defense to a person seeking to bring a claim against a business or person who was a victim of Irma. Each situation is different and the above situation is only intended as a possible example where this doctrine may apply.

If you are concerned about your ability to carry out a contract you entered into before the storm reach out to an experienced attorney at the Boatman Law Firm for an initial consultation to review your situation. Contact the Firm today at 239-330-1494.

THIS BLOG IS INTENDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. IT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE. THE READER SHOULD CONSULT WITH KNOWLEDGEABLE LEGAL COUNSEL TO DETERMINE HOW APPLICABLE LAWS APPLY TO SPECIFIC FACTS AND SITUATIONS. BLOG POSTS ARE BASED ON THE MOST CURRENT INFORMATION AT THE TIME THEY ARE WRITTEN. SINCE IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE LAWS OR OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES MAY HAVE CHANGED SINCE PUBLICATION, PLEASE CALL US TO DISCUSS ANY ACTION YOU MAY BE CONSIDERING AS A RESULT OF READING THIS BLOG.

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