Friday, December 27, 2013

Southern California Acoustics Co., Inc. v. C.V. Holder, Inc. case brief

Southern California Acoustics Co., Inc. v. C.V. Holder, Inc. case brief summary
456 P.2d 975 (1969)

Plaintiff subcontractor filed an action against defendant school district and defendant general contractor in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), seeking to recover for breach of contract, breach of statutory duty, and negligence in connection with a public contract. The lower court dismissed the action, and the subcontractor appealed.

The general contractor solicited bids for a public construction project, and the subcontractor submitted a bid. The school district awarded the contract to the general contractor. After the general contractor listed the subcontractor as the one to perform the acoustical tile work in the listing required by Cal. Gov't Code § 4104, the school district consented to the substitution of another subcontractor. The subcontractor claimed that the substitution of another subcontractor gave him a right of action.


  • The court ruled that the subcontractor stated a cause of action for breach of statutory duty by the general contractor, but that the dismissal of the remaining claims was proper. 
  • In so holding, the court found that: 
  • (1) there was no acceptance of the subcontractor's offer by the general contractor and no promise upon which he detrimentally relied; 
  • (2) the subcontractor was not an intended third party beneficiary of the contract between the general contractor and the school district; and 
  • (3) Cal. Gov't Code § 4107 conferred on the listed subcontractor the right to perform the subcontract and that right was enforceable by an action for damages against the general contractor.

The court affirmed the dismissal of the action as to the school district, but reversed the dismissal as to the general contractor and remanded the case with instructions to allow the general contractor to file an answer.

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