Tuesday, December 3, 2013

SKB Industries, Inc. v. Insite case brief

SKB Industries, Inc. v. Insite case brief summary
551 S.E.2d 380 (2001)

Plaintiff hardscaping contractor sued defendant subcontractor over work on a construction project placed for bid. A jury in the trial court, Georgia, found for the subcontractor on this claim and awarded damages. The jury also found for the subcontractor on its claims of tortious interference with the subcontractor's contractual relationship with the project's general contractor. The subcontractor appealed.

The hardscaping contractor was preparing to submit a bid to do both the hardscaping and landscaping work on a project to build a plaza. For the purpose of submitting a bid for the whole project, the hardscaping contractor received a bid from the landscaping subcontractor. The hardscaping contractor included the subcontractor's bid in its bid to do the whole project. The subcontractor then failed to substantially perform.


  • A claim of promissory estoppel required proof that: 
  • (1) the subcontractor made a promise to do the landscape work; 
  • (2) the subcontractor should have expected that hardscaping contractor would rely on the promise; 
  • (3) the hardscaping contractor did rely on the promise to its detriment; and 
  • (4) injustice could be avoided only by enforcement of the promise. 
  • The appellate court found no merit in the contention that a claim of promissory estoppel was rendered inapplicable. 
  • The appellate court, however, agreed with the contention that there was no evidence to support the jury's award of damages for tortious interference. 
  • Nevertheless, there was sufficient evidence of bad faith to create a jury issue as to the award of litigation expenses.

The judgment was affirmed in part, the judgment was reversed and the matter was remanded.

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