Southern California Acoustics Co. v. C. V. Holder, Inc. – Case Brief
Southern California Acoustics Co. v. C. V. Holder, Inc., 71 Cal.2d 719, 79 Cal. Rptr. 319, 456 P.2d 975 (Cal.1969).
Facts: Southern California Acoustics (P) submitted a subcontractor bid to C.V. Holder, Inc. (D) for furnishing and installing acoustical tile for a public construction job for a school district. Holder listed P’s bid and included P’s name as required by law in its bid for the primary contract. P later learned through trade papers that Holder had been awarded the primary contract. P refrained from bidding on other construction jobs in order to remain within its bonding limits. Holder then made a request to substitute P from the contract in favor of another subcontractor and the school district granted the request. Holder claimed that it had inadvertently listed P instead of the intended subcontractor.
P sought a writ of mandamus to reinstate the former subcontractor designation. P did not appeal the court’s dismissal of the complaint and instead brought suit for damages. D demurred and the trial court sustained. P appealed.
Issue: Does the listing of a subcontractor in a prime bid constitute an implied acceptance of the subcontractor’s bid by the general contractor if the general contractor is awarded the primary contract?
Holding and Rule: No. General contractors are required by statute to list the subcontractors they intend to retain. Such listings cannot reasonably be construed as an expression of acceptance and therefore do not create a cause of action for breach of contract. In the present case however, the court held that P had stated breach of a statutory duty as a cause of action and the court remanded for a resolution of that issue.
Disposition: Reversed and remanded.