State Liable for Damages When Delay Results from State’s Failure to Disclose Material Facts

P.T. & L. Constr. Co. v. N.J. Dep’t of Transportation, 531 A.2d 1330, 108 N.J. 539 (1987)

In this case, P.T. & L. Construction Co. was awarded a contract to perform work on a portion of Route 78.  Due to extremely poor working conditions, the project, which was contracted to end on November 15, 1974, was not completed until June of 1976.  P.T. & L. filed suit to recover damages, attributing the delay to the State’s failure to inform them of the actual conditions of the land.  Specifically, where P.T. & L. expected to work in normal or dry conditions, they instead faced wet conditions, including flooding of the work area.  The court, looking at the issue of whether an owner can be liable for damages where it fails to disclose certain critical information regarding the project to bidders, found that a sufficient factual basis existed to warrant recovery for nondisclosure of material facts.

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