Justia Government Contracts Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Utah Supreme Court
by
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs in this action seeking to recover delinquent contributions to various trust funds for construction on a state construction project, holding that the right of action under a payment bond statute extends to any amount due an employee, meaning any amount that is traceable specifically to an employee.One of the subcontractors hired to work on the project failed to make contributions to various trust funds for its employees' work on the project, as required by trust agreements and a collective bargaining agreement. The trusts (Plaintiffs) sought to recover the delinquent contributions from the public payment bond associated with the project by suing Defendant, the surety for the payment bond. The district court granted summary judgment for Plaintiffs. On appeal, the parties disputed whether Utah Code 63G-6-505(4) limits the right of action on a payment bond to amounts due to an employee or encompasses claims for any amounts due for an employee or on the employee's behalf. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the right of action under the public payment bond statute contemplates recovery of any specific benefit that is due a person in the sense of being traceable to that person. View "McDonald v. Fidelity & Deposit Co. of Maryland" on Justia Law

by
In an earlier order explained in this opinion the Supreme Court denied Motorola Solution, Inc.'s Rule 17 motion for stay pending review in this matter involving Utah Communications Authority's (UCA) efforts to hire a private contractor to implement a new statewide emergency public radio system, holding that UCA's motion for a stay was moot.Motorola requested the stay to stop UCA from entering into a contract with Harris Corporation until Motorola's appeal protesting UCA's decision to award that contract for the purpose of implementing the emergency radio system had been resolved. In response, UCA and Harris argued that the motion for a stay was moot because UCAs executive director had already entered into a contract with Harris. Motorola countered that a contract could not be formed until the UCA board had approved it. The Supreme Court denied the motion requesting a stay as moot, holding that the UCA executive director had authority to enter into contracts on UCA's behalf. View "Motorola Solutions, Inc. v. Utah Communications Authority" on Justia Law

by
In holding that the successor judge in this case had authority to dismiss Plaintiff’s claims for breach of contract and consequential damages and committed no reversible error by doing so, the Supreme Court repudiated any language in its precedent that suggests that a successor judge on a case is bound by nonfinal decisions and rulings made by his predecessor.Plaintiff, who was hired by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) to work on different construction projects, filed various claims against UDOT and other contractors on the projects. UDOT moved for summary judgment on claims for breach of contract on the “Arcadia” project and claims seeking consequential damages. Judge Kennedy, the original judge assigned to the case, denied both motions. Judge Kennedy was then replaced in this case by Judge Harris. Judge Harris ultimately dismissed Plaintiff’s claims for breach of contract and consequential damages. Plaintiff filed this interlocutory appeal, arguing that Judge Harris violated the so-called coordinate judge rule, which Plaintiff alleged limits the discretion of a successor judge to revisit decisions of a predecessor. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) a successor judge has the same power to review nonfatal decisions that a predecessor would have had; and (2) Judge Harris did not commit reversible error by dismissing the claims at issue. View "Build v. Utah Department of Transportation" on Justia Law