Fox Rothschild Attorney Marc. J. Gross Wins Suit Over Morris County Police Car ContractJanuary 10, 2018 – Press Releases
Fox Rothschild litigation partner, Marc J. Gross, scored a major victory for Morris County residents and a local Ford dealer when a Superior Court judge ruled that Beyer Ford, LLC in Morristown must be awarded a contract to supply police cars for 241 municipal entities across Morris County.
The Honorable Stuart Minkowitz, A.J.S.C. had previously halted all action on the contract due to flaws in the way the Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council (MCCPC) had chosen an out-of-state dealer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as the winning bidder. Thus, in November, the court issued a Temporary Restraining Order on the MCCPC on its contract.
Now, Judge Minkowitz has issued a permanent injunction to prohibit the performance of the out-of- state contract and ordered that it must be awarded instead to Gross’ client, Beyer Ford, LLC in Morristown, New Jersey.
Gross argued that the MCCPC and the Township of Randolph violated New Jersey’s Local Public Contracts Law by awarding Day Ford of Pittsburgh a contract for police cars, despite a clear requirement that bidding companies must employ a full-time factory direct sales person.
Judge Minkowitz agreed, finding that Day Ford failed to meet “material” bid requirements. In a 14-page written opinion the court determined that Day Ford’s sales person is someone who also owns a municipal supply company, which subcontracts with Day Ford, creating a potential conflict of interest. And, that conflict placed the performance of the contract at risk. In fact, the court held that by looking to award the bid to Day Ford, the MCCPC unreasonably sought to waive “the safeguards in place to have the contract performed as guaranteed.”
Judge Minkowitz explained that the Day Ford salesperson “would not be able to act independently to hold his own company accountable” under the contract.
In a Dec. 27 order, Judge Minkowitz ruled that Gross’ client, Beyer Ford, a family-owned business in Morristown, should be awarded the contract because its bid was the lowest among bidders that satisfied all of the bid requirements. The win assures Morris County residents that they will be able to hold Beyer Ford accountable under the contract, and affords a local business an opportunity to perform a substantial contract.
Gross focuses his practice on business litigation and the hands-on representation of closely held businesses. Gross served as the president of the Essex Bar Association for the 2007-2008 term. He was assisted in this matter by Fox partner David Restaino and associate Marissa Kingman.