Facto v. Pantagis

915 A.2d 59 (2007)


P contract with D for a wedding reception for 150 people, to be held between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Saturday, August 3, 2002. The price was $10,578, all of which was to be paid in advance. The contract contained a force majeure clause, which stated: 'Snuffy's will be excused from performance under this contract if it is prevented from doing so by an act of God (e.g., flood, power failure, etc.), or other unforeseen events or circumstances.' At forty-five minutes after the reception began, there was a power failure in the area where D is located. The reception was completely ruined. The temperature was in the upper 80s or low 90s, and the humidity was high. Ps and their guests became extremely uncomfortable within a short time. D offered to reschedule the reception, which was impracticable as many had traveled to attend. An altercation between a guest and an employee of D occurred. D asked the police to evacuate the facility, which was then occupied not only by Ps and their guests but also the attendees at four other wedding receptions. P sued for the $10,578.00. The trial court held that the force majeure clause precluded P’s claim and dismissed the complaint. P appealed.