Plaintiff, city housing authority, invited bids for construction work reserving the right to reject any and all bids. Defendant surety’s principal submitted the low bid along with the requisite bid bond, the bond being conditioned upon the withdrawal of the bid within thirty days, failure to enter the contract and perform. The Commissioners of the plaintiff adopted a motion to award the contract to the principal “subject to the approval of the Public Housing Administration.” The next day the principal notified the plaintiff of a mistake in computation of his bid and withdrew. Almost three weeks later, plaintiff approved the bid and the principal declined to execute the contract. Plaintiff sues defendant surety for the difference between bid price and next lowest bid. The trial court directed a verdict for the plaintiff. Held, reversed with directions to enter judgment for defendant. The defendant surety offered two defenses to the action on the bond contract: (1) An offer may be withdrawn at any time before it is accepted; and (2) Even if the offer was accepted, mistake vitiated the contract. The second point was never reached because the court allowed the defense in point one. An elementary rule of contract law is that an offer may be withdrawn at any time before acceptance.
Floyd A. Sterns,
Contracts—Municipal Corporations—Right of an Offeror to Withdraw Bid before Acceptance,
36 Neb. L. Rev. 618
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