Justia Government Contracts Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in South Dakota Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court in favor of Excel Underground, Inc. on its breach of contract claim against the Brant Lake Sanitary District, holding that the circuit court did not err in any of its challenged rulings. The District contracted with Schmitz, Kalda, and Associates, Inc. (SKA) to engineer a sewer system and with Excel to install it. After delays, the District terminated Excel's contract. The District and Excel subsequently sued each other for breach of contract. The District also filed a third-party complaint against SKA for contribution and indemnity. Prior to trial, the trial court granted Excel's motion to dismiss the District's claim for liquidated damages and dismissed SKA from the suit. After a jury trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Excel. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the circuit court did not err by dismissing the District's claim for liquidated damages; (2) despite any error in the district court's instruction that SKA was the District's agent, the District failed to establish prejudice; (3) the circuit court did not err by allowing testimony regarding the District's emergency bidding procedures; and (4) the evidence was sufficient to support the jury's damage award. View "Excel Underground, Inc. v. Brant Lake Sanitary District" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court entering judgment on the jury’s general verdict in favor of real-estate developers (Developers) and against the City of Rapid City in this suit seeking to recover the prospective cost of repairing roads in a development outside Rapid City. Specifically, the Court held that the circuit court did not err by (1) denying the City’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability; (2) excluding evidence of the Developers’ litigation and settlement with their subcontractors; (3) granting one of the developer’s motion for judgment as a matter of law; (4) instructing the jury on estoppel defenses; and (5) not instructing the jury on the City’s public-nuisance claim. View "City of Rapid City v. Big Sky, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s denial of a motion for a new trial based on insufficient evidence filed by the South Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT), holding that the jury’s verdict was not unsupported by any valid legal theory or evidence. DOT was sued by Reede Construction, Inc., which entered into a contract with DOT to perform highway construction work in Sioux Falls. DOT refused to issue a letter of acceptance after requesting several repairs, many of which Reede failed to perform. After Reede left the job and demanded payment for the repairs it had completed, Reede sued, and DOT counterclaimed. The jury returned a verdict awarding no damages to either party. The circuit court denied DOT’s motion for a new trial. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that sufficient evidence supported the jury’s verdict. View "Reede Construction, Inc. v. South Dakota Department of Transportation" on Justia Law