Court of Appeals Says TexAmericas Contractor Should Receive No Money From Sub-Contractor

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March 6, 2015 | The court of appeals in Texarkana reversed a trial court’s judgment against a TexAmericas contractor and stated the contractor should receive no money from the judgment or attorney’s fees, stated an opinion published this week. The opinion also denied recovery to the Contractor for its negligent misrepresentation claim.

Heritage Constructors, Inc. requested sub-contractors to submit bids that would be included in Heritage’s bid to build TexAmericas Center’s wastewater treatment plant in Bowie County. Chrietzberg Electric, Inc. submitted a bid for the electrical portion to Heritage just before the deadline. Chrietzberg was the low bidder and Heritage calculated its bid using the bid Chrietzberg submitted. Heritage won the contract.

Chrietzberg found out its bid was $100,000 less than any other bids submitted to Heritage. About two weeks later, Chrietzberg withdrew its bid. Heritage was forced to go to the next highest bidder and accept their amount after short negotiations. Heritage filed a lawsuit against Chrietzberg.

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A jury awarded Heritage $50,000 plus attorney’s fees. Both parties appealed.

Heritage argued on appeal challenging there was not enough evidence to support the damages. Chrietzberg argued there was not enough evidence to award damages based on breach of contract promissory estoppel.

“On appeal, we affirm the take-nothing judgment favoring Chrietzberg and the denial of Heritage’s claim for negligent misrepresentation, but reverse the judgment favoring Heritage and render a take-nothing judgment, because (1) statute of frauds bars Heritage’s claim for breach of contract, (2) there is no evidence of damages recoverable based on promissory estoppel, (3) denying Heritages, claims for negligent misrepresentation was proper, and (4) Heritage’s recovery of attorney fees also fails,” stated the opinion.

Sixth Court of Appeals is located in Texarkana and Chief Justice Josh R. Morriss, III wrote the opinion. The case was published on March 4, 2015.

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