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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Gough filed a complaint for declaratory judgment seeking that its bid be rescinded and its bid bond released.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. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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