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General Contractor’s Use of a Subcontractor’s Quote Does Not Create a Contract

In Ribarchak v. Monongahela, 44 A.3d 706 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2012), the Commonwealth Court held that a subcontractor (Ribarchak) could not assert a breach of contract claim against a general contractor (or the owner) based on the fact that the general contractor used the subcontractor’s quote (and identified the subcontractor) in its bid to the owner. Furthermore, even though the contract between the owner and the general contractor required that the general contractor substitute any subcontractors within thirty days after contract award date, the owner decided to permit the general contractor to make a substitution five months after the award, and the Court held that Ribarchak was not a third-party beneficiary of the 30-day substitution provision and therefore could not pursue a claim against the general contractor and/or the owner. This case means that absent a general contractor’s express acceptance of a subcontractor’s bid, there is no contract between the subcontractor and the general contractor.