Tuesday, March 26, 2013

William Drennan v. Star Paving Co. case brief

Drennan v. Star Paving Co. case brief summary

51 Cal.2d 409

Defendant subcontractor appealed a judgment from the Superior Court of Kern County (California), which was rendered in favor of plaintiff contractor in an action to recover damages caused by defendant's refusal to perform paving work according to a bid defendant submitted to plaintiff.

OVERVIEW: Plaintiff was a licensed general contractor preparing a bid for a school district. Defendant subcontractor was the lowest bidder for the paving work. Plaintiff used defendant's bid in computing his own bid for a school project. The day after receiving defendant's bid, plaintiff stopped by defendant 's office, whereupon plaintiff was informed that defendant's bid was a mistake. Defendant refused to do the paving work at the price originally given plaintiff. Plaintiff sued defendant to recover damages caused by defendant's refusal to perform the work according to its bid.

On appeal, the court affirmed the award of damages to plaintiff, since the loss resulting from any mistake fell upon the party who caused it.

A promise which the promisor should reasonably expect to induce action or forbearance of a definite and substantial character on the part of the promisee and which does induce such action or forbearance is binding if injustice can be avoided only by enforcement of the promise.

Plaintiff had no reason to believe that defendant's bid was in error and plaintiff was entitled to rely upon it.

OUTCOME: The court affirmed the trial court's judgment.

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