On November 24, 2020, the Louisiana Supreme Court made final a ruling in favor of a firm client for the award of project exceeding $90 million in value. 

The project involved repair and mitigation construction services at the Main Campus for the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.  The project was publicly advertised for bids by the State of Louisiana, Division of Administration (“DOA”).  The lowest monetary bidder was determined to be ineligible for the award due to unit-price errors on its bid form. The firm’s client had submitted the second lowest monetary bid, which the DOA determined to be responsive.  As a result, the DOA awarded the project to the firm’s client as the lowest responsive bidder.

The lowest and third lowest monetary bidders filed lawsuits, both seeking to be declared the bidder who should be awarded the project.  The lowest monetary bidder sought to show that the DOA had erred in rejecting its bid for not complying with the advertised unit-price bidding requirements. The third lowest bidder sought a declaration that the firm’s client incorrectly filled out its name on its bid form. After briefing and a full trial, the trial court ruled in the favor of the firm’s client on all issues presented, including finding the firm’s client to be the lowest responsive bidder, thereby entitled to be awarded the project according to the Louisiana Public Bid Law (specifically, La. R.S. § 38:2212).

Both unsuccessful bidders filed appeals, which were consolidated. On August 5, 2020, the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the trial court, including finding the lowest monetary bidder had not successfully completed its bid in accordance with the advertised bidding instructions.  The Court of Appeal also ruled that the firm’s client was the lowest responsive bidder.  

Both unsuccessful bidders filed applications for writs of certiorari with the Louisiana Supreme Court. The firm opposed both applications, arguing that the DOA’s award of the project and the lower courts’ decisions were correct under the Louisiana Public Bid Law. On November 24, 2020, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied both writ applications, thereby finalizing the final ruling in favor of the firm’s client. (Case Nos. 2020-1079 and 2020-1088.)

Riess LeMieux is proud to have secured the correct result under the Louisiana Public Bid Law for its client and for the client to successfully complete this valuable project.