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Contingency Request Voids Subcontractor Bid

Sunday, November 04, 2007 12:57 pm

Contingency Request Voids Subcontractor Bid

A U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania ruled that a subcontractor was not bound to its bid in the absence of formal acceptance, and that its bid was no longer in force after the general contractor -- in an attempt to salvage a slipping timeline -- asked the subcontractor to perform part of the work before approving the project in full.

In March, 2006, Concrete Building Systems, Inc. (Concrete) submitted a proposal to precast concrete elements for Neshaminy Constructors, Inc. (Neshaminy). This work constituted a major portion of a project Neshaminy was currently bidding on for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

30-day vs. 90-day window spells trouble

Because Concrete had a production slot open in June 2006, its proposal to Neshaminy stipulated that fabrication work start in June and that the proposal "will be void if not accepted with in [sic] 30 days." Neshaminy understood that this gave it until April 3 to formally accept the offer.

Neshaminy was the sole bidder on the larger SEPTA project, but acceptance of its bid was delayed because of various regulations. SEPTA had mandated that general contractors hold their bids open for ninety days, effectively giving [...]

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