55 F.3d 1578 (Fed. Cir. 1995), 94-1314, Caldwell & Santmyer, Inc. v. Glickman

Docket Nº:94-1314.
Citation:55 F.3d 1578
Party Name:CALDWELL & SANTMYER, INC., Appellant, v. Dan GLICKMAN, Secretary of Agriculture, Appellee.
Case Date:June 08, 1995
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Page 1578

55 F.3d 1578 (Fed. Cir. 1995)



Dan GLICKMAN, Secretary of Agriculture, Appellee.

No. 94-1314.

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

June 8, 1995

Page 1579

Linda M. Schuett, Blum, Yumkas, Mailman, Gutman & Denick, P.A., Baltimore, MD, argued, for appellant. With her on the brief was Joseph C. Kovars.

Jeffrey J. Bernstein, Atty., Commercial Litigation Branch, Dept. of Justice, Washington, DC, argued, for appellee. With him on the brief were Frank W. Hunger, Asst. Atty. Gen. and David M. Cohen, Director.

Before RICH, NIES, and SCHALL, Circuit Judges.

SCHALL, Circuit Judge.

This is a Contract Disputes Act 1 case. Appellant, Caldwell & Santmyer, Inc. ("Caldwell"), appeals from the decision of the United States Department of Agriculture Board of Contract Appeals ("Board") in Caldwell & Santmyer, Inc., AGBCA No. 93-191-1, 94-2 BCA (CCH) p 26,854, 1994 WL 125892 (April 13, 1994). In its decision, the Board granted the Department of Agriculture's ("Agriculture's") motion for summary judgment, denied Caldwell's similar motion, and dismissed Caldwell's appeal. Caldwell had appealed to the Board from a contracting officer's final decision denying its claim for alleged wrongful termination of a construction contract between Caldwell and Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service ("APHIS"). APHIS terminated the contract for the convenience of the government after award but before construction had started or a notice to proceed had been issued. Because the decision of the Board is supported by substantial evidence and is not tainted by legal error, we affirm.



The pertinent facts are not in dispute. 2 On April 27, 1992, APHIS solicited bids for the construction of its Plant Germplasm Quarantine Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland. Caldwell was one of the bidders. Both the specifications and an equipment schedule in the contract listed two categories of equipment as "vendor furnished/vendor installed." APHIS received no questions from prospective bidders concerning the term "vendor furnished/vendor installed."

R.J. Crowley, Inc. ("Crowley") submitted the lowest bid, which was 41 percent lower than the APHIS estimate. After APHIS asked Crowley to submit the cost summary sheets it had used in preparing its bid, Crowley informed APHIS of two mathematical errors in the bid. APHIS also discovered that Crowley had omitted the costs for "vendor furnished/vendor installed" equipment. Crowley was permitted to withdraw its bid on August 8, 1992, making Caldwell the lowest bidder.

Because of the problems APHIS had experienced with Crowley's bid, the contact person at APHIS for the contract asked Caldwell to submit the cost summary sheets it had used in determining its bid price. Caldwell complied with the request on August 11, 1992. The cost summary sheets showed that Caldwell had not included any costs for the "vendor furnished/vendor installed" equipment. When the contracting officer returned from vacation and was told by his contact person that Caldwell's bid did not include any costs for the "vendor furnished/vendor installed" items, he was angry that Caldwell had been asked for its cost summary sheets. In his opinion, APHIS had no reason to believe that Caldwell's bid contained an error that would require bid verification. His opinion was based on the analysis...

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