J. CALDARERA & CO., INC.
ERNEST N. MORIAL EXHIBITION HALL AUTHORITY AND MELVIN RODRIGUE IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT OF THE ERNEST N. MORIAL EXHIBITION HALL AUTHORITY BOARD
FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2018-03204,
DIVISION "M" Honorable Paulette R. Irons, Judge
N. SHIELDS JEFFREY K. PRATTINI JESSICA R. DERENBECKER SHIELDS
MOTT LUND L.L.P. COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT
CHRISTOPHER K. LEMIEUX JOHN W. BIHM RIESS LEMIEUX, LLC
COUNSEL FOR INTERVENOR/APPELLEE, LANDIS CONSTRUCTION CO., LLC
J. CAPELLA CHRISTIAN J. RHODES DAVID C. FLESHMAN DAVID B.
PHELPS ROEDEL PARSONS KOCH BLACHE BALHOFF & McCOLLISTER
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE
composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay III, Judge Edwin A.
Lombard, Judge Rosemary Ledet
F. MCKAY III, CHIEF JUDGE
public bid law case, the plaintiff, J. Caldarera &
Company, Inc. (Caldarera), appeals a trial court judgment in
favor of the defendants, the Ernest N. Morial Exhibition Hall
Authority (the Authority) and Melvin Rodrigue in his official
capacity as President of the Earnest N. Morial Exhibition
Hall Authority Board, which determined that the intervenor,
Landis Construction Company, LLC, was the lowest responsive
bidder and rendered judgment in favor of the defendants as to
all requests for relief and ordered that any temporary or
preliminary injunction be deemed no longer in effect. We
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
January of 2018, the Authority publicly advertised and sought
bids for the Linear Park public works project No. CO0517 (the
project). The project was part of ongoing enhancements to the
convention center and sought the redevelopment of two lanes
of traffic into a linear park to serve as an entrance up to
the convention center. Five bids were received by the March
5, 2018 deadline. The bids were reviewed for compliance and
were ranked as follows: 1) J. Caldarera & Co.; 2) Landis
Construction Co., LLC; 3) Roy Anderson Corp.; 4) the McDonald
Group; and 5) Boh Brothers, Inc. The lowest bid was from
March 7, 2018, the Authority notified Caldarera that it was
the apparent low bidder. The bid documents also called for
the lowest responsible bidder to submit the preliminary
project schedule and the preliminary traffic plans within
fourteen (14) days after the bid opening. An introductory
meeting between representatives of the Authority and
Caldarera took place on March 15, 2018.
March 19, 2018, Landis filed a protest challenging the
responsiveness of Caldarera's bid. Landis's chief
complaint was Caldarera's alleged failure to comply with
the requirements in article 5.2.1 of the bid instructions
that bid bonds must be "issued by a company licensed to
do business in Louisiana and who is under contract with the
surety company or bond insurer as a licensed agent in this
state." Landis argued that because Caldarera's agent
is a Connecticut resident, Caldarera's bid was
nonresponsive. Also, on March 19, 2018, the Authority's
facilities and construction committee voted to move forward
with Caldarera subject to review and analysis of the protest
and, if the protest had merit, then to move forward with the
next responsive bidder. On March 20, 2018, the
Authority's finance and audit committee also voted to
move forward with Caldarera subject to review and analysis of
Landis's protest and, if the protest was determined to
have merit, then to move forward with the next lowest
responsible and responsive bidder.
Authority provided Caldarera with a copy of the Landis
protest and an opportunity to formally respond on March 21,
2018. Caldarera submitted a formal witness response to the
Landis protest to the Authority on March 22, 2018.
the Authority's March 28, 2018 meeting, the board
unanimously voted to enter executive session pursuant to La.
R.S. 42:17(A)(2) to discuss and consider prospective
litigation surrounding the bid protest. Prior to the meeting,
the Authority's written public notice of its March 28,
2018 meeting of the board of commissioners included the
following item on the agenda: "IV. Executive Session -
Discussion and consideration of prospective litigation
pursuant to La. R.S. 42:17(A)(2) concerning Landis
Construction Co., L.L.C.'s Linear Park bid protest."
After returning to open session, the board unanimously voted
on a properly motioned and seconded motion to award the
contract to Landis as the lowest responsive and responsible
bidder. The Authority and Landis then executed the contract.
March 29, 2018, the Authority notified Caldarera that its bid
was deemed non-responsive because Calderera failed to comply
with the requirements of article 5.2.1 of the biding
documents. On April 2, 2018, Caldarera filed a
petition for temporary restraining order, preliminary and
permanent injunctive relief, mandamus, and declaratory
judgment. The trial court granted a TRO on April 3, 2018.
Landis filed its petition for intervention on ...