FP McCann wins case over A8 road tender
The Department for Regional Development breached public contract regulations in rejecting a tender for a road contract worth up to £100m, a High Court judge has ruled.
Mr Justice Colton backed legal action by construction company FP McCann Ltd.
It brought the action after failing to land the deal to design and build the A8 dual carriageway between Belfast and Larne.
That was despite it submitting the lowest bid.
With the department also held to be in breach of a duty to the firm, compensation will be assessed at a later date.
FP McCann issued proceedings over the tender for the work it submitted in 2009 as part of a joint venture with Balfour Beatty in a public procurement process run by the DRD's Road Service.
The consortium, referred to as BBMC, did not secure the contract on the grounds that it had submitted an abnormally low tender, the court heard.
Lawyers for FP McCann claimed it had been unlawfully denied the work and should be entitled to damages.
The judge said there had been a clear breach of duty by the defendant in respect of its consideration of the BBMC bid.
Adjourning the case for further submissions in assessing the scale of payout, he added: "The defendant's breach of duty should be marked by a meaningful award to reflect the loss of opportunity to the plaintiff to be awarded a significant and potentially lucrative contract."