California Supreme Court Finds that When it Comes to Intentional Interference Claims, Public Works Projects are Just Different, Special Even

November 21, 2017
Garret Murai - California Construction Law Blog

Originally published by CDJ on April 20, 2017

Earlier, we reported on a California Court of Appeals decision – Roy Allan Slurry Seal, Inc. v. American Asphalt South, Inc. – which held for the first time that a second-place bidder on a public works contract could sue a winning bidder who failed to pay its workers prevailing wages, under the business tort of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.

Fast forward nearly two years, several amicus briefs, and “one doghouse”* later and the California Supreme Court has . . . reversed.

The Roy Allan Slurry Seal Case

To catch you up, or rather, refresh your recollection . . .

Between 2009 and 2012, American Asphalt South, Inc. was awarded 23 public works contracts totaling more than $14.6 million throughout Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. Two of the losing bidders on those projects – Roy Allan Slurry Seal, Inc. and Doug Martin Contracting, Inc. – sued American in each of these counties for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage as well as under the Unfair Practices Act (“UPA”) (Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17000 et seq.) and the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) (Bus. & Prof. Code §17200).

Mr. Murai may be contacted at gmurai@wendel.com



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