Construction Law Insights

Mediko, P.C. v. Roanoke, 2018 Va. Cir. LEXIS 623 (Cir. Ct. Roanoke Cnty, Nov. 9, 2018)

Roanoke County (the “County”) serves as the fiscal agent for the Western Virginia Regional Jail Authority (“WVRJA”) and handles procurements for the WVRJA. On November 8, 2016, the County published a request for proposals (“RFP”) for healthcare services for inmates of the jail pursuant to the Virginia Public Procurement Act (“VPPA”). The RFP requested sealed, formal proposals from qualified firms and stated that the contract would not necessarily be awarded to the lowest bidder, but would be awarded to the proposer who could best meet the requirements based on the criteria enumerated in Virginia Code § 2.2-4301. Mediko, P.C. (“Mediko”) submitted a bid. After various meetings and conversations, Mediko thought the County and WVRJA had moved Mediko through the first and second stages of the procurement process and were prepared to offer Mediko a contract. However, the County issued a Notice of Intent to Award (“NOI”) the contract to Correct Care Solutions, LLC (“CCS”). Mediko filed a bid protest, claiming that the County’s NOI to CCS was arbitrary and capricious given the WVRJA’s ongoing negotiations with Mediko. In response, the County and WVRJA cancelled the original RFP and rejected all proposals pursuant to Virginia Code § 2.2-4319.

Mediko then filed a Complaint and later an Amended Complaint. Mediko’s Amended Complaint requested that the RFP be reinstated, contract negotiations with Mediko be resumed, and the contract be awarded to Mediko. The County and WVRJA filed a demurrer, arguing that Mediko’s Amended Complaint omits key language in Virginia Code § 2.2-4360(B) that allows a public body to cancel an award and that Mediko was not entitled to injunctive relief because it had not alleged irreparable harm and inadequate remedy at law.

The Court granted the demurrer on the condition that the County and WVRJA reopen bidding on a new RFP. The cancellation of the RFP was not arbitrary and capricious because the County and WVRJA complied with the VPPA, cancelled the original RFP award, and intended to reopen bidding on a new RFP. It is not within the Court’s discretion to alter the statutory relief afforded by the VPPA. Mediko’s only relief under the VPPA with respect to a proposed contract award is the cancellation of the proposed award. Upon the County’s reopening of bidding on a new RFP, Mediko can submit a new bid. Mediko was not entitled to injunctive relief because adequate legal remedies are available to Mediko (i.e. submit a new bid in response to a new RFP). Mediko’s Amended Complaint was also moot because Mediko had already obtained the full relief afforded to it under the VPPA. Additionally, the County could not be held liable under Mediko’s Amended Complaint because a fiscal agent acting on behalf of its principal cannot be held responsible under Virginia’s common law.

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