Justia California Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Government Contracts
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The Supreme Court remanded this matter questioning whether Cal. Govt. Code 1092 gave Plaintiff, a citizens' taxpayer organization, statutory standing to invalidate certain contracts allegedly made in violation of Cal. Govt. Code 1090, holding that section 1092 did not provide Plaintiff a private right of action because it was not a party to the contracts. Plaintiff sued the City of San Diego and its Public Facilities Financing Authority (collectively, Defendants), asserting that aspects of a refinancing transaction in which the City sought to refinance the remaining debt on its bonds to finance the construction of Petco Park, violated section 1090. The complaint asserted that the issuance of new bonds to accomplish the refinancing violated section 1090. The trial court ruled in favor of Defendants, concluding that section 1092 confers standing only on the parties to a challenged contract. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Plaintiff cannot sue under section 1092. View "San Diegans for Open Government v. Public Facilities Financing Authority of the City of San Diego" on Justia Law

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During a three-year period, Defendant outbid Plaintiffs on twenty-three public works contracts to apply a slurry seal coating on various roadways in California. Plaintiffs jointly sued Defendant in five counties for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage. The Riverside complaint - the only tort action at issue in this appeal - alleged that Defendant won six public works contracts on which either plaintiff was the second lowest bidder and that Plaintiffs’ bids would have been accepted but for Defendant’s wrongful conduct during the bidding process. The trial court sustained Defendant’s demurrer to the entire cause of action. The appellate court reversed as to the tortious interference claim, determining that Plaintiffs’ pleading was adequate. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the demurrer was properly sustained because, under the highly regulated circumstances regarding these public works contracts, Plaintiffs’ allegations were insufficient. View "Roy Allan Slurry Seal, Inc. v. American Asphalt South, Inc." on Justia Law

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This case stemmed from a lawsuit filed in 2007 by the Retired Employees Association of Orange County, Inc. against the County of Orange contesting the validity of certain changes the county had made to health benefits for retired employees. At the request of the Ninth Circuit, the court addressed the following question: "Whether, as a matter of California law, a California county and its employees can form an implied contract that confers vested rights to health benefits on retired county employees." In response, the court concluded that, under California law, a vested right to health benefits for retired county employees could be implied under certain circumstances from a county ordinance or resolution. Whether those circumstances existed in this case was beyond the scope of the question posed to the court by the Ninth Circuit. View "Retired Employees Assoc. v. Co. of Orange" on Justia Law