Better Roads

December 2013

Better Roads Digital Magazine

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inconsequential, may not be waived. from Durr's total base bid, however, Durr's base bid was As a result, the court of appeals found Command was the $2,444,850.80, as stated in its July 11, 2012 letter. Thus, lowest bidder, and the city improperly awarded the contract Durr's revised bid of $2.44 million was approximately to Durr. Because the contract was wrongfully awarded to $350,000 lower than Command's initial bid of $2.79 milDurr and went forward, the court allowed Command to lion. The city indicated its intent to award the contract pursue its claim for damages against the city. to Durr, and Command protested by letter dated July 27, The Command Construction matter highlights the importance 2012. of carefully reviewing and double checking bids prior to On Aug. 17, 2012, Command filed a lawsuit requesting submission for compliance with all bid requirements. In the court issue a temporary restraining order and injunction to prevent the City of New Orleans from awarding the addition, it further illustrates the importance of carefully contract to Durr. The trial court denied Command's request. scrutinizing and promptly challenging, as appropriate, another party's bid that is revised downward after bid openAs a result, Durr filed an appeal. ing. The Command Construction court noted if an unsuccessful The appeals court stated the main issue was whether bidder timely seeks legal relief, it may recover damages. Durr's revised bid of $2,444,850.80 complied with the Here, Command's prompt legal challenge to Durr's revised requirements of the Louisiana Public Bid Law, found bid resulted in Command being allowed to pursue a claim at Louisiana Revised Statutes section 38:2212, et seq. for damages against the City of New Orleans. Specifically, the issue was whether the city was required to consider only Durr's initial bid of $2,974,975, or whether it could consider Durr's entire bid packet (of seven pages) For an archive of "In Court" articles, which includes web-exclusive columns, to determine the correct amount of its total base bid. visit Command argued that even if Durr's original bid contained a clerical, accounting error, Durr's attempt after bid opening to substitute the first page of bid documents was imTHAT INTEGRATES WITH YOUR ACCOUNTING SYSTEM. proper. Command further argued the requirements in Louisiana's Public Bid Law and a public entity's bid documents may not be waived. Command maintained that Durr's sole remedy for a clerical error in its bid was to withdraw its bid without forfeiting its bid bond. The appeals court reviewed Estimating Dispatching Safety GPS Mobile Apps Louisiana's Public Bid Law. Prior court Job Costing Equipment Fuel Tracking Cloud Maintenance Hosting decisions, including a decision by the Louisiana Supreme Court, made clear the requirements of the Public instant Bid Law, the advertisement for bids and the bid form shall not be waived Innovative Software by any public entity, regardless of for the Construction Industry whether they could be considered as 800-683-3196 informalities. In Louisiana, irreguSIGN UP FOR larities in bid forms, even if cleriDAILY WEBINARS at cal errors or seemingly minor and INDUSTRY LEADING CONSTRUCTION SOFTWARE Better Roads December 2013 23

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