Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Hawaii

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Certified Construction, Inc. (CCI) submitted a bid proposal on a public works project by the County of Hawaii. The County disqualified CCI’s bid on the basis that the project required a C-44 license. CCI filed a bid protest with the County, arguing that nothing in the bid solicitation strictly required a C-44 license. The Office of Administrative Hearings dismissed the protest as untimely, concluding that CCI’s protest was a challenge to the contents of the bid solicitation rather than to the disqualification of its bid proposal. The circuit court disagreed and remanded the case for further proceedings. On remand, the hearings officer determined that CCI failed to demonstrate entitlement to relief. The circuit court affirmed. CCI appealed from the circuit court’s second order, and the County appealed from the circuit court’s first order. The Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) concluded that CCI’s protest was untimely and that the OAH lacked jurisdiction to consider CCI’s protest. The Supreme Court vacated the ICA’s judgment on appeal, holding that the ICA erred in concluding that CCI’s bid protest challenged the contents of the County’s bid solicitation because the protest, in fact, challenged the County’s disqualification of CCI’s bid proposal. View "Certified Construction, Inc. v. Crawford" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs brought a wrongful death action against Kamehameha Investment Corporation (KIC), the developer of a hillside area, and Sato and Associates, Inc. and Daniel Miyasato (collectively, Sato), the civil engineer. KIC tendered defense against Plaintiffs’ claims to Sato pursuant to a hold harmless clause in a project consultant agreement between Sato and KIC. KIC filed a cross-claim against Sato, alleging that Sato had agreed to defend and indemnify KIC against Plaintiffs’ claims. The trial court granted KIC’s motion for partial summary judgment against Sato. Relying on Pancakes of Hawaii, Inc. v. Pomare Properties Corp., the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) affirmed, concluding that Sato had a contractual duty to defend KIC in the wrongful death action. The Supreme Court vacated the ICA’s judgment, holding (1) Haw. Rev. Stat. 431:10-222 renders invalid any provision in a construction contract requiring the promisor to defend “the promisee against liability for bodily injury to persons or damage to property caused by or resulting from the sole negligence of willful misconduct of the promisee, the promisee’s agent or employees, or indemnitee”; (2) Pancakes does not apply to defense provisions in construction contracts; and (3) the scope of a promisor’s duty to defend imposed by a construction contract is determined at the end of litigation. Remanded. View "Arthur v. State, Dep’t of Hawaiian Home Lands" on Justia Law