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COA affirms judgment in favor of contractor in bid dispute

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has found that a school corporation seeking bids for renovations did not acquire the right to enforce a construction company’s mistaken bid.

In East Porter County School Corp. v. Gough, Inc., and Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. of America, No. 64A04-1109-PL-471, East Porter County School Corp. sought bids for additions and renovations. Bids had to be in by 2 p.m. Feb. 5, 2008, and the bids would be opened publicly at 2 p.m. Gough Inc. submitted a bid to complete certain work with a base bid amount of $2,997,000.

Just before the bids went public, Gough realized its bid was based on mistaken information within the company and tried to have the bid pulled. The company didn’t reach anyone with the school corporation until after 2 p.m. Gough’s was the lowest bid, so the school accepted it and tried to force Gough to honor the bid. Eventually the school approved the project to the second-lowest bidder and then sought to claim the bid bond Travelers Casualty and Surety has on the Gough bid. Travelers denied the claim.

Gough filed a complaint for declaratory judgment seeking that its bid be rescinded and its bid bond released. The trial court ruled in favor of Gough, granting summary judgment for Gough and Travelers and against the school.

“Based upon the record and under the circumstances presented in this case, we conclude that it is evident that there was not a meeting of the minds regarding the bid amount and thus that the School did not acquire the right to enforce Gough’s erroneous or mistaken bid,” wrote Judge Elaine Brown.

The appellate court cited Bd. Of Sch. Commr’s of City of Indianapolis v. Bender, 36 Ind. Ap. 164, 72 N.E. 154 (1904), in its decision. The judges also agreed with the trial court that Travelers should be released from its bid bond because Gough didn’t have any liability on the underlying contract.

 

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  1. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  2. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  3. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  4. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  5. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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