509 A.2d 1071 (Conn.App. 1986), 3377, Eastern Bus Lines, Inc. v. Board of Educ. of City of Norwich

Docket Nº:3377.
Citation:509 A.2d 1071, 7 Conn.App. 581
Opinion Judge:DALY, J.
Party Name:EASTERN BUS LINES, INC. v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF the CITY OF NORWICH et al.
Attorney:Thomas M. Bounty, Hartford, for appellants (defendants)., Mary E. Holzworth, Norwich, with whom, on brief, was Jackson T. King, Jr., New Haven, for appellee (plaintiff). Thomas M. Bounty, for the appellants (defendants). Mary E. Holzworth, with whom, on the brief, was Jackson T. King, Jr., for t...
Judge Panel:In this opinion the other judges concurred. Before BORDEN, DALY and BIELUCH
Case Date:June 03, 1986
Court:Appellate Court of Connecticut

Page 1071

509 A.2d 1071 (Conn.App. 1986)

7 Conn.App. 581

EASTERN BUS LINES, INC.

v.

BOARD OF EDUCATION OF the CITY OF NORWICH et al.

No. 3377.

Appellate Court of Connecticut.

June 3, 1986

Argued March 19, 1986.

Page 1072

Thomas M. Bounty, Hartford, for appellants (defendants).

Mary E. Holzworth, Norwich, with whom, on brief, was Jackson T. King, Jr., New Haven, for appellee (plaintiff).

Before BORDEN, DALY and BIELUCH, JJ.

DALY, Judge.

This case involves an action brought by the plaintiff, Eastern Bus Lines, Inc., against the defendants, the city of Norwich and its board of education, claiming damages resulting from the breach of a contract for the transportation of school children during the academic year of 1981-82. 1 The defendants have [7 Conn.App. 582] appealed from a judgment of the trial court awarding damages to the plaintiff. 2

The facts are not in dispute. The defendant solicited bids by advertising its invitation to bid for the school transportation contract for the three year period commencing in the fall of 1981. The invitation to bid set forth contract specifications and estimated transportation requirements for the 1981-82 school year. In prebid conferences, it was indicated by the defendant that these were estimates of its transportation requirements. The plaintiff submitted a bid which contained its own specifications and which was ultimately accepted by the defendant. The parties entered into a contract in April, 1981.

The contract provided, inter alia: "Base bid for a total of 2,000 miles for thirty-two (32) plus three (3) spare, sixty-six (66) passenger rated capacity buses.... The [defendant] reserves the right to fix the schedules and routes and to reduce or increase existing routes or to change the schedules and number of routes.... The [defendant] will purchase a maximum of 90,000 gallons of gasoline or 2,650 gallons per vehicle, whichever is less and will have it delivered to the tank provided by the contractor. The cost of any gasoline in excess of 90,000 gallons or 2,650 gallons per vehicle will be the responsibility of the contractor.... [The defendant's charges for mileage adjustments for the first year will be:] $.90 per mile for mileage in excess of 2,000

Page 1073

miles per day plus an added allowance of 1 gallon of gasoline for each 4 miles added. No credit for mileage reductions...."

The defendant made all the monthly payments for charges specified by the contract. The plaintiff subsequently[7 Conn.App. 583] sued for services it provided which were not specifically described in the contract. The defendant has not questioned the amounts claimed for the additional services but maintains that these services were within the terms of the contract and, therefore, that the defendant is not liable for them.

The trial court concluded that any mileage over 2000 miles per day was to be compensated and that additional payment for extra runs or mileage could be allowed even if the 2000 mile limit was not exceeded. The trial court found that the defendant was liable for an amount totalling $19,630.80, based on the following: extra kindergarten runs, the community school shuttle bus, St. Bernard's high school schedule change, and a gasoline allowance for the spare and additional buses.

The defendant has appealed from the judgment claiming that the trial court erred (1) in ruling that a contract should be construed against the party who drafted it; (2) in concluding that the omission of a provision in the contract specifications was intentional and designed to lull the plaintiff into making a lower bid by leading it to believe that it would be compensated for extra runs; (3) in...

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