Monday, April 26, 2010

Court reviews whether a city's bidding process violates the TN Trade Practices Act

BAIRD TREE COMPANY, INC. v. CITY OF OAK RIDGE, ET AL. (Tenn. Ct. App. April 26, 2010)

In 2004, Baird Tree Company, Inc. ("Baird Tree") unsuccessfully bid on a tree trimming and removal project with the City of Oak Ridge ("Oak Ridge"). Baird Tree filed a lawsuit claiming, inter alia, that Oak Ridge's bidding process violated the Tennessee Trade Practices Act, Tenn. Code Ann. Section 47-25-101.

We affirmed the Trial Court's grant of summary judgment to the defendants because the contract at issue was a contract for services, not goods, and, therefore, the Tennessee Trade Practices Act did not apply. We also concluded that Baird Tree could not challenge the bidding process because it had failed to submit a valid bid in the first place. See Baird Tree Co., Inc. v. City of Oak Ridge, No. E2007-01933- COA-R3-CV, 2008 WL 2510581 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 24, 2008). When the same project came up for bid in 2007, Baird Tree again submitted a fatally defective bid. When it was not awarded the contract, Baird Tree filed the present lawsuit raising various challenges to Oak Ridge's bidding process. The Trial Court granted summary judgment to all defendants. We, again, conclude that Baird Tree does not have standing to challenge the bidding process because it submitted a fatally defective "bid" in the first place. The judgment of the Trial Court is, therefore, affirmed.

Opinion may be found at: