Wednesday, December 25, 2013

First Baptist Church of Moultrie v. Barber Contracting Co. case brief

First Baptist Church of Moultrie v. Barber Contracting Co. case brief summary
377 S.E.2d 717 (1989)

Plaintiff church and defendant construction company each appealed from the judgment of the Colquitt Superior Court (Georgia), which denied their summary judgment motions in the dispute over a contracting bid.

The church invited bids for the construction of a music, education, and recreation building. The bids were to be accompanied by a bid bond. The contracting company submitted a bid and an insurer issued a bid bond. The contracting company submitted the lowest bid, but later informed the church that there was an error. The church then entered into a contract with the second lowest bidder, and it demanded that the construction company and insurer compensate it under the bid bond. The contracting company disclaimed such liability. The trial court held that neither party was entitled to summary judgment, and they both appealed.


  • The court affirmed the finding that the church was not entitled to summary judgment, but reversed as to the contracting company. 
  • That company had promptly notified the church of the mistake in calculating the amount of the bid. 
  • The church had actual knowledge of the mistake before it forwarded a contract to the contracting company. 
  • The mistake did not amount to negligence preventing equitable relief, and it was material to the contract. 
  • Thus, the church should not have been permitted to take advantage of the mistake.

The court affirmed denial of summary judgment for the church, but it reversed denial of summary judgment to the contracting company.

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