Flintco Pacific, Inc. v. TEC Mgmt. Consultants, Inc.: “Reasonable Reliance” on Subcontractor’s Bid
By Timothy L. Pierce, Hector H. Espinosa, and Benjamin Kussman, K&L Gates, Los Angeles
In California, general contractors can “reasonably rely” on subcontractors’ bids when submitting their own bids to the owner. In Flintco Pacific, Inc. v. TEC Mgmt. Consultants, Inc., Case No. B258353 (July 19, 2016), the California Court of Appeal addressed what constitutes “reasonable” reliance, holding that it was unreasonable for a general contractor to rely on a subcontractor bid based on price alone, while ignoring other, material conditions of the offer.
In Flintco, Flintco Pacific, Inc. (“Flintco”), a general contractor, received a bid from TEC Management Consultants (“TEC”) to perform subcontract work on a community college building project. In addition to the bid price of $1,272,960, TEC’s bid included the following conditions: (1) a 35% up-front deposit; (2) the right to withdraw its bid if not accepted within 15 days; and (3) a minimum 3% price escalation, per quarter, after the 15-day acceptance period. Flintco used TEC’s bid price in compiling its own bid and was awarded the contract in July 2011. Read More