Christie v. United States
237 U.S. 234 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Christie v. United States, 237 U.S. 234 (1915)

Christie v. United States

No. 204

Argued March 16, 17, 1915

Decided April 12, 1915

237 U.S. 234

Syllabus

Where there is a deceptive representation in the specifications as to the material to be excavated which actually misleads the bidder who obtains the contract, and it is admitted by the government that time did not permit borings to be made by the contractor to verify the representations, the latter is entitled to an allowance for the actual amount expended over what would have been the cost had the boring sheets been accurate, notwithstanding there was no sinister purpose whatever.

The legal aspects of such a case are not affected by the fact that the

Page 237 U. S. 235

omissions amounting to misrepresentations did not have a sinister purpose.

Under the contract involved in this case, all that is cast upon the government in establishing the "angle of repose" for the slopes of the banks on each side of the excavation is an honest exercise of judgment by the engineers, and the contractors are not entitled to damages by reason of the sloughing of the banks on account of too sharp an angle.

In this case, the findings do not support claimants' contention that the "angle of repose" was arbitrarily selected and adhered to.

The contractor, in this case, held not entitled under the terms of the contract to recover the cost of recovering buried concrete forms which, according to the findings, was done voluntarily so a to reuse the forms.

The government is not responsible to the contractor for a promise of additional compensation for cofferdams to protect the work made by an officer not having authority and whose promise is subsequently revoked before the work of construction commences.

In this case, held that the paragraph in a government contract providing for extra work did not supersede the paragraph requiring work to be done by the contractor himself, and that, as the conditions contemplated by the contract required the use of cofferdams to protect the work to the height ordered by the engineers, the contractor was not entitled to extra compensation therefor.

48 Ct.Cl. 293 reversed on account of error as to one item claimed and disallowed.

The facts, which involve the rights of a contractor for compensation for work done under a contract with the United States for the construction of locks and dams on the Warrior River, are stated in the opinion.

Page 237 U. S. 238

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