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Stanley Magic-door, Inc. v. City of Chicago

OPINION FILED JULY 12, 1979.

STANLEY MAGIC-DOOR, INC., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

THE CITY OF CHICAGO ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. PHILIP A. FLEISCHMAN, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE ROMITI DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The plaintiff filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration that the city of Chicago awarded a contract to an ineligible bidder. The city has throughout maintained that its action, being an exercise of discretion, is unreviewable in the absence of fraud. The court dismissed the complaint, stating that the plaintiff had no standing to bring suit and that the complaint was insufficient, being based on information and belief. The plaintiff has appealed. We find that the plaintiff did have standing, that the complaint was sufficient to state a cause of action, and that any determination at this point whether the city's action was properly within its area of discretion would be premature. Accordingly, we reverse and remand for further proceedings.

The plaintiff, on July 22, 1977, filed an action for declaratory judgment and other relief against the city of Chicago and Builders Chicago Company alleging in part:

1. On or about April 22, 1977, the city of Chicago opened bidding on a five-year contract for the maintenance of the automatic doors at O'Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway Airport.

2. Under section 8-10-10 of the Illinois Municipal Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 24, par. 8-10-10) the city was required to award the contract to the lowest responsible bidder.

3. The contract defined the bidder as one who:

"* * * shall be familiar and experienced with, and regularly engaged in the maintenance, installation, repairing, and servicing of automatic doors and related equipment of type and design similar to the equipment covered under this contract.

Bidders shall be required to provide proof of having successfully maintained an amount of equipment equal to three times in number, the equipment covered under this Contract within the last five years.

No bidder will be considered acceptable in the consideration of award of this work unless he shall have already in force and operating, the following elements of a maintenance procedure to insure regular coverage of all preventive maintenance operations and possible sources of operating troubles."

4. The plaintiff was a qualified bidder as defined in the contract and delivered a bid for $510,576.

5. The plaintiff is informed and believes that the city awarded the contract to Builders Chicago Company.

6. The plaintiff is informed and believes that Builders Chicago Company is not qualified in that (a) it has in the last five years maintained no equipment other than the equipment covered by the contract and (b) that it has not successfully maintained that equipment in that there are legal actions involving personnel injuries and possibly loss of life pending against the city based on the defective maintenance of that equipment.

7. Builder's bid was for $482,140.

8. The city awarded the contract to Builders in the amount of $608,000 (while this amount is nearly $100,000 more than the amount of plaintiff's bid, the plaintiff does not contend that it was the lowest bidder ...


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