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Contracts Keyed to Summers
Drennan v. Star Paving Co.
Citation:51 Cal. 2d 409, 333 P.2d 757
ProfessorMelissa A. Hale
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
Drennan (plaintiff), a general contractor, prepared a bid for a construction project for a local school. Drennan’s bid had to include the names of subcontractors who were to perform one-half of one per cent or more of the work, and he also had to provide a bidder’s bond as a guarantee he would enter the contract if awarded the work for the school. It was customary in the area for general contractors to receive bids from subcontractors by telephone on the day set for bidding, and for the general contractor to rely on such bids when computing his or her own bid. Drennan’s secretary received between 50 and 75 subcontractors’ bids by telephone. Star Paving Company (“Star”) (defendant) submitted a bid for $7,131.60 by telephone and it repeated the bid amount to Drennan’s secretary. Star’s bid proved to be the lowest and it was awarded the contract. The next morning, Star informed Drennan that it had made a mistake in their bid and refused to do the paving work for less than $15,000. Drennan spent several months trying to get as low of a bid as possible and eventually found a firm to do the paving work for $10,948.60. Drennan sued Star for damages caused by its refusal to perform the paving work. Star argued that it had the right to revoke its bid. The trial court awarded Drennan damages for the difference between Star’s bid and the actual cost of the paving.
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