Gas & Water Division v. Craft, 436 U.S. 1, 9, 56 L. Ed. 2d 30, 98 S. Ct. 1554 (1978)).
Under Pennsylvania Law, a disappointed bidder has no cause of action for failure to receive a contract because a disappointed bidder has sustained no personal injury which entitles it to redress in court. R.S. Noonan, Inc. v. School Dist. of The City of York, 400 Pa. 391, 394-5, 162 A.2d 623, 625 (1960). Under Pennsylvania Law only a taxpayer has standing to enforce compliance with the requirements that public contracts be awarded to the "lowest responsible bidder". Lutz Appellate Printers v. Com. Dept. of Property & Supplies, 472 Pa. 28, 370 A.2d 1210, 1212 (1977).
It is clear therefore that Angelini cannot demonstrate a property interest in the contract awarded to Lombardo & Lite.
SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS - LIBERTY INTEREST
In addition to alleging deprivation of its "property interest", Angelini claims that the Defendants' actions deprived it of a "liberty" interest in its status as a "responsible contractor" and its "freedom to take advantage of other contractual opportunities" and that this was a violation of its right to "substantive due process." See Complaint, at PP 131-132.
Specifically, Angelini claims that it will be required to "disclose whether (it) has ever been discharged or declared non-responsible by a public entity or agency." See Complaint, at P 128. Angelini also alleges that the disqualification on Bid No. 6551 served to "stigmatize" Angelini and "severely and adversely impacted (its) ability to conduct business." See Complaint, at
P 130. Angelini further alleges that the acts of the City Defendants "destroyed an extremely beneficial classification previously enjoyed by Angelini, to wit, its classification as a responsible contractor, and said individuals' acts and/or omissions have foreclosed Angelini's freedom to take advantage of other contractual opportunities." See Complaint, at P 131.
Liberty "denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint" but also, the right of the individual to contract to engage in any of the common occupations of the law. ... Unger, 928 F.2d at 1395-96 (quoting Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399, 43 S. Ct. 625, 626-27, 67 L. Ed. 1042.
The Third Circuit has stated that an employment action implicates a Fourteenth Amendment liberty interest "only if it
(1) is based on a 'charge against the [individual] that might seriously damage his standing and association in the community ... for example, [by implying that he had been guilty of dishonesty, or immorality,' or (2) 'imposes on him a stigma or other disability that forecloses his freedom to take advantage of other employment opportunities.'" Robb v. City of Philadelphia, 733 F.2d 286, 294 (1984). The following facts, which I have found, clearly illustrate that there has been no deprivation of any liberty interest of Angelini and that the Defendants are entitled to a verdict in their favor:
81. The disqualification of Angelini on Bid No.6551 was effective for that bid only. It did not prevent Angelini from seeking to be pre-qualified for future City bids. [N.T. 4/21/97, at p.15]
82. Angelini was never placed on the City's "Problem Contractors' List." [N.T. 4/21/97, p.17]
110. After its disqualification by the City on Bid No. 6551, Angelini submitted bids for public works contracts in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. [Final Joint Pretrial Order]
111. Angelini has submitted nine bids for general construction work in New Jersey and Delaware, 46 bids for electrical construction work in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, and 19 bids for miscellaneous construction work in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. [Final Joint Pretrial Order]
112. In connection with its public bidding since its disqualification by the City, Angelini has not disclosed to any public or government agency or official its disqualification by the City on Bid No. 6551. [Final Joint Pretrial Order]
113. After February 13, 1996, with the exception of City of Philadelphia Bid Nos. 6582 and 6583 (where its disqualification was subsequently reversed by the City), Angelini has not been disqualified from submitting a bid on any public or government contract as a consequence of the City's disqualification of Angelini on Bid No. 6551. [Final Joint Pretrial Order]
114. Angelini has also not been disqualified from receiving an award of a public or government contract as a consequence of the City's disqualification of Angelini on Bid No. 6551. [Final Joint Pretrial Order]
115. After February 13, 1996, Angelini has been awarded two public contracts for general construction work with a total value of $ 10,816,625 and seven public contracts for electrical construction work with a total value of $ 10,440,508. [Final Joint Pretrial Order]
116. After February 13, 1996, Angelini has been awarded two additional public contracts for electrical construction work -the PATCO project and the Radnor H.S. project -- with a total value of $ 9,537,667. [Exhibit D-9; N.T. 4/18/97, pp.123-24]
117. The total value of public contracts awarded to Angelini after February 13, 1996, is $ 31,078,800. [Exhibit D-9]
118. Angelini's expert witness, Gordon Curtis, did not perform any analysis of Angelini's business operations in order to determine the capacity of Angelini to perform any specific volume of contracting work, such as, e.g., $ 50 million of work, and Mr. Curtis therefore could not state the capability of Angelini to undertake the allegedly lost work opportunities claimed by Angelini. [N.T. 4/18/97, p.41]
119. Mr. Curtis could not name a single project which Angelini did not receive that it would have performed had its bonding capacity been increased. [N.T. 4/18/97, p.42]
120. Since February 13, 1996, Angelini has never formally requested that its bonding capacity or limit be increased. [N.T. 4/17/97, p.134]
For all of the foregoing reasons, I enter the following:
AND NOW, this 24th day of November 1997, it is hereby
ORDERED, JUDGED and DECREED:
1. Judgment is hereby entered in favor of all Defendants and against Plaintiff, Ray Angelini, Inc.
2. Costs are placed upon the Plaintiff, Ray Angelini, Inc.
3. Defendant International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union No.98's request for counsel fees is DENIED.
4. The Complaint is Dismissed with prejudice.
BY THE COURT:
Robert F. Kelly, J.
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