Pennsylvania Court Rules Successful Bidder Is Indispensable Party in Action to Enjoin Award of a Public Contract

Polydyne, Inc. v. City of Philadelphia
No. 2454 C.D. 2001 (Pa. Commw. Ct. April 4, 2002)

The City of Philadelphia solicited bids for the provision of polymers for use by the City Water Department. Cytec Industries, Inc. (“Cytec”) was the successful bidder. Polydyne, Inc. (“Polydyne”), a disappointed bidder, filed a claim against the City of Philadelphia, seeking to enjoin the award to Cytec. After review of the merits, the trial court rejected the request for equitable relief.

On appeal, the Commonwealth Court vacated the decision based on a jurisdictional defect. According to the Commonwealth Court, Cytec was an indispensable party to the action. It had an interest in the claim as the successful bidder, and there was no indication that Cytec’s rights would have been protected in its absence. Despite this status, however, Cytec was not joined as a party to the action. The Commonwealth Court noted that this failure to join an indispensable party deprived the trial court of subject matter jurisdiction over the action. Consequently, it vacated the decree, and remanded the case for further proceedings.

 

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