It is important when entering into contracts or other legally binding agreements that care is taken in preparing and reviewing the documents. In a recent unpublished decision the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s ruling concerning an accepted bid for kitchen installations where the initial bid application and construction form were not properly completed.
In the Matter of the Petition of Thomas-United inc. v. Atlantic Cape Community College the plaintiff Thomas-United inc. was the second lowest bidder in connection with a kitchen installation contract. The lowest bidder who was originally awarded with the installation contract, Todd Devin Food Equipment inc, left blank a line on the contract form certifying the amount of uncompleted contracts. The form which was required to be submitted to the New Jersey Department of Treasury was identified in being incomplete. The plaintiff, Thomas-United inc, brought the action against the college seeking to void the contract award. While the college argued that Todd Devin’s bid deviation was immaterial and waive able the Appellate Division held that the college aired in their determination that the bid deviation was immaterial and terminated the kitchen installation contract to Devin.
One oversight cost Devin the installation contract. The lesson to be learned from this case is that attention to detail must be paid when negotiating, and signing all contracts and legal agreements. A missed line or an improper word can drastically impact the outcome of the contract.
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