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Drennan v. Star Paving Co.

Supreme Court of California
333 P.2d 757 (1958)



Drennan (plaintiff), a general contractor, was preparing a bid for a school construction project. As was customary, Drennan solicited bids from subcontractors to perform the paving work necessary for the project. Star Paving Co. (Star) (defendant) contacted Drennan and submitted a bid of $7,131.60 for the paving work. This was the lowest bid, and Drennan relied on Star’s bid when computing his own bid for the project. Drennan’s bid was lowest and he was ultimately awarded the general contract. Drennan promptly informed Star it was awarded the subcontract. However, Star informed Drennan that it had made a mistake in computing its bid and could only complete the work for $15,000. Drennan stated this was unacceptable and proceeded to look for another subcontractor to perform the paving work. After months of searching, Drennan awarded a new subcontract to a company bidding $10,948.60 for the project; the lowest bid found by Drennan. Drennan brought suit against Star to recover damages caused by Star’s failure to perform work as specified in its bid. The trial court awarded Drennan $3,817.00, or the difference between Star’s bid and the final cost of paving to Drennan, plus costs. Star appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Traynor, J.)

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