Court sends suit back to Waveland
By Anthony James
Jul 17, 2012, 17:58
The Mississippi Court of Appeals ordered a lawsuit against the city of Waveland remanded to Hancock County Circuit Court and ruled that a contractor may be eligible to receive damages.
W.G. Yates and Sons Construction, headquartered in Philadelphia, Miss., sued the city of Waveland in June 2009 claiming the city illegally awarded a $9.3 million contract for a sewer project to Orleans, Ind.-based Reynolds Incorporated.
Yates alleges Waveland's city engineer made corrections to the Reynolds bid and that the contract was awarded to an out-of-state company, both in violation of Mississippi law. The company further claimed the improperly corrected bid was never submitted or signed by Reynolds and was not sealed. Since it was corrected after the submission deadline, Yates argues the bid did not exist at the deadline.
When the company approached the board of alderman to discuss its concerns, then-Mayor Tommy Longo rejected the request, and the board awarded the project to Reynolds, the suit says.
The city of Waveland claimed that Reynolds was Mississippi-based as the company was acquired by Layne Christensen, which has done business in Mississippi since 1976. The court found that this claim wasn't supported by substantial evidence other than an affidavit by an attorney for Reynolds and Layne Christensen.
Yates' suit was denied in December 2009 by the Hancock County Circuit Court. However, in October 2010 the company took the case to the Court of Appeals.
The court of appeals found that Reynolds' bid should have been rejected since it did not comply to the specifications the city requested in the request for bids.
In the ruling handing the case back to the Circuit Court, the Court of Appeals also ruled that Yates is entitled to a hearing for damages.