Act of God

acts of GodAct of natureHand of Godirregular eventslegal acts of godnatural causes and disastersunforeseen eventvisitation of God
In legal usage throughout the English-speaking world, an act of God is a natural hazard outside human control, such as an earthquake or tsunami, for which no person can be held responsible.wikipedia
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Hague–Visby Rules

perils of the seadeviationHague or Hague-Visby Rules
An act of God may amount to an exception to liability in contracts (as under the Hague–Visby Rules); or it may be an "insured peril" in an insurance policy.
These exemptions include destruction or damage to the cargo caused by: fire, perils of the sea, Act of God, and act of war.

Force majeure

vis majorforce majureaccidental
By contrast, other extraordinary man-made or political events are deemed force majeure.
Force majeure – or vis major (Latin) – meaning "superior force", also known as cas fortuit (French) or casus fortuitus (Latin) "chance occurrence, unavoidable accident", is a common clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as a war, strike, riot, crime, or an event described by the legal term act of God (hurricane, flood, earthquake, volcanic eruption, etc.), prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract.

Natural hazard

natural hazardsnaturalhazard
In legal usage throughout the English-speaking world, an act of God is a natural hazard outside human control, such as an earthquake or tsunami, for which no person can be held responsible.
Act of God

Lawsuits against God

put God on trialGod as the defendantlawsuit against God
Lawsuits against God
Issues debated in the actions include the problem of evil and harmful "acts of God".

Charles Hatfield

Charley HatfieldHatfield
A particularly interesting example is that of "rainmaker" Charles Hatfield, who was hired in 1915 by the city of San Diego to fill the Morena reservoir to capacity with rainwater for $10,000.
In two trials, the rain was ruled an act of God but Hatfield continued the suit until 1938 when two courts decided that the rain was an act of God, which absolved him of any wrongdoing, but also meant he did not get his fee.

Natural disaster

natural disastersnaturaldisaster
Often it is used in conjunction with a natural disaster or tragic event.
Act of God

English-speaking world

AnglophoneEnglish-speaking countriesanglophones
In legal usage throughout the English-speaking world, an act of God is a natural hazard outside human control, such as an earthquake or tsunami, for which no person can be held responsible.

Earthquake

earthquakesseismic activityseismic
In legal usage throughout the English-speaking world, an act of God is a natural hazard outside human control, such as an earthquake or tsunami, for which no person can be held responsible.

Tsunami

tsunamistidal waveseaquake
In legal usage throughout the English-speaking world, an act of God is a natural hazard outside human control, such as an earthquake or tsunami, for which no person can be held responsible.

Insurance policy

insurance policiespolicypolicies
An act of God may amount to an exception to liability in contracts (as under the Hague–Visby Rules); or it may be an "insured peril" in an insurance policy.

Contract

contract lawcontractsagreement
In the law of contracts, an act of God may be interpreted as an implied defense under the rule of impossibility or impracticability.

Impossibility

impossiblebeyond what he is able to do
In the law of contracts, an act of God may be interpreted as an implied defense under the rule of impossibility or impracticability.

Breach of contract

breachbreachedbreach-of-contract
If so, the promise is discharged because of unforeseen occurrences, which were unavoidable and would result in insurmountable delay, expense, or other material breach.

Specific performance

specifically enforcedorder of specific performanceperformance
Under the English common law, contractual obligations were deemed sacrosanct, so failure to honour a contract could lead to an order for specific performance or internment in a debtor's prison.

Debtors' prison

debtor's prisondebtors prisonimprisonment for debt
Under the English common law, contractual obligations were deemed sacrosanct, so failure to honour a contract could lead to an order for specific performance or internment in a debtor's prison.

Taylor v Caldwell

In 1863, this harsh rule was softened by the case of Taylor v Caldwell which introduced the doctrine of frustration of contract, which provided that "where a contract becomes impossible to perform and neither party is at fault, both parties may be excused their obligations".

Frustration of purpose

frustration of contractfrustratedfrustrated contracts
In 1863, this harsh rule was softened by the case of Taylor v Caldwell which introduced the doctrine of frustration of contract, which provided that "where a contract becomes impossible to perform and neither party is at fault, both parties may be excused their obligations".

Indemnity

indemnificationindemnifyindemnities
In other contracts, such as indemnification, an act of God may be no excuse, and in fact may be the central risk assumed by the promisor—e.g., flood insurance or crop insurance—the only variables being the timing and extent of the damage.

Flood insurance

floodflood risk
In other contracts, such as indemnification, an act of God may be no excuse, and in fact may be the central risk assumed by the promisor—e.g., flood insurance or crop insurance—the only variables being the timing and extent of the damage.

Crop insurance

crop risk servicesagricultural insurancecrop
In other contracts, such as indemnification, an act of God may be no excuse, and in fact may be the central risk assumed by the promisor—e.g., flood insurance or crop insurance—the only variables being the timing and extent of the damage.

Year 2000 problem

Y2KY2K bugmillennium bug
In many cases, failure by way of ignoring obvious risks due to "natural phenomena" will not be sufficient to excuse performance of the obligation, even if the events are relatively rare: e.g., the year 2000 problem in computers.

Uniform Commercial Code

UCCUniform Commercial Code (UCC)commercial jurisprudence
Under the Uniform Commercial Code, 2-615, failure to deliver goods sold may be excused by an "act of God" if the absence of such act was a "basic assumption" of the contract, and the act has made the delivery "commercially impracticable".

Impracticability

commercially impracticable
In the law of contracts, an act of God may be interpreted as an implied defense under the rule of impossibility or impracticability. Under the Uniform Commercial Code, 2-615, failure to deliver goods sold may be excused by an "act of God" if the absence of such act was a "basic assumption" of the contract, and the act has made the delivery "commercially impracticable".

Geothermal gradient

geothermalgeothermallygeothermal activity
Geothermal injections of water provoking earthquakes (Basel, Switzerland, 2003)

Basel

Basel, SwitzerlandBasleBasel XI
Geothermal injections of water provoking earthquakes (Basel, Switzerland, 2003)