Court of Claims Issues Injunction Against State

Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter

Traditionally, bidding disputes involving State entities have been initiated in Courts of Common Pleas who have the equity power to issue injunctions, but not to award damages against the State or its entities. Traditionally, only the Ohio Court of Claims has jurisdiction to award damages against the State. In a unique development, several taxpayers and Cincinnati area contractors and their trade associations sought and received an injunction from the Ohio Court of Claims barring the University of Cincinnati from proceeding further on its conference center project without complying with the public works and bidding laws. The University unsuccessfully argued that the project was exempt from competitive bidding and Ohio's other public work statutes because it was a "lease-purchase agreement." This case may encourage others to seek injunctive relief against the State in the future in the Court of Claims.