What Happens When ODOT Tries to Collect on a Bid Bond?

Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter

ODOT recently tried to collect on a contractor's bid bond when the contractor rescinded the acceptance of the contract because it allegedly contained terms deviating from the bid solicitation. ODOT issued, without a hearing, a decision purporting to forfeit the bid bond and the contractor challenged this determination in court.

ODOT argued that the contractor's appeal was not properly perfected under Chapter 119, governing certain agency administrative appeals. This argument was rejected by the Court who found that R.C. §5525.01 applied instead. ODOT next argued that the contractor had not properly perfected the R.C. §5525.01 appeal because the contractor had not provided an appeal bond, to secure the already-existing bid bond. The Court recognized the lack of logic with this approach and refused to require a second appeal bond for the right to contest the forfeiture of the bid bond. R.B. Jergens, Inc. v. Ohio Dep't. of Transp. (Aug. 25, 2008), Franklin Cty. C.P. Ct. No. 08CVF-05-7145.

The case will now proceed further on the merits.