Washington Supreme Court Expands Contractor Notice Obligations

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The court expanded contractors’ obligations when providing notice on public works construction projects.

November 28, 2018
Brett M. Hill - Ahlers Cressman & Sleight Blog

The Washington State Supreme Court dealt another blow to public works contractors in Washington State. In a case recently issued by the court, Nova Contracting, Inc. v. City of Olympia, [1] the court expanded contractors’ obligations when providing notice on public works construction projects. The Nova Contracting case was the subject of a previous blog. The case involved Nova Contracting and the City of Olympia. Nova was the low bidder on the contract. Nova alleged that the City of Olympia did not want Nova to win the job and intentionally hindered Nova’s ability to perform the job. The facts alleged by Nova, which were covered in the previous blog, involved the City’s improper and apparently punitive rejection of submittals on the job and the City’s eventual wrongful termination of Nova. Of significance in the case is that Nova never actually began work on the job. All that Nova had done at the time of termination was begin mobilizing its equipment on site. The Court of Appeals found that Nova had alleged sufficient facts to establish that the City violated the duty of good faith and fair dealing by improperly rejecting Nova’s submissions and had breached the contract with Nova by improperly terminating.

Mr. Hill may be contacted at brett.hill@acslawyers.com



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