Design Professionals Fail to Recover Damages for Wrongful Award

Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter

In contrast to the case described on page 1, where a contractor was able to recover lost profits for a wrongful bid award, the Court of Appeals for Lorain County has ruled that no money damages may be awarded under Ohio's Professional Design Services Law, which governs procurement of design services on public construction projects. Current Source, Inc. v. Elyria City School Dist., 157 Ohio App.3d 765, 2004-Ohio-3422.

The Court ruled that there was no ability for a disappointed proposing designer to recover money damages even when a public authority fails to comply with the provisions of the Design Services Law. The Court stated that the sole remedy was to seek a court order declaring the contract void.

This means that designing architects, engineers and surveyors who are unhappy with the process followed by a public authority will be limited to challenging the unlawful award of the contract to the other firm, but will likely not be able to recover money damages in any event.