Act of God

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Related to vis major: Casus fortuitus

Act of God

In law, any event outside of human control, especially one that causes damage. Examples of acts of God include tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes. Many contracts do not have to be completed in the event of an act of God; that is, one is usually immune from having to perform on a contract rendered impossible by an act of God. Many companies, notably agricultural and similar corporations, have insurance to compensate for losses resulting from an act of God. An act of God is also called vis major, which is Latin for "superior force." See also: Act of God bond.

Act of God

An act caused exclusively by the violence of Nature, without any intervention from humans. Many contracts contain clauses relieving the parties of responsibility if an Act of God delays or makes impossible the performance of the contract.Examples include earthquakes,floods, hurricanes, lightning, tidal waves, tornadoes. (With current controversy over the effects of global warming, and with allegations that deficiencies in the New Orleans levee system caused the massive flooding in 2005, we can expect renewed litigation concerning flooding as an Act of God or of humans.)