A promise to pay additional compensation for the performance by the promisee of a contract, which the promisee is already under obligation to the promisor to perform, is without consideration.
Petitioner painting contractor entered into a contract with respondent Department of Transportation to paint bridges. The weight of one bridge was more than that listed in the bid proposal or provided for in the contract. Petitioner submitted a claim for additional compensation for painting the surfaces represented by the additional tonnage. The claim was denied.
Had petitioner agreed to a contract by the terms of which it warranted that it had been put on notice that its bid was to be the product of its own investigation and calculations, rather than of those respondent Department of Transportation?
On appeal, the decision was affirmed. The court held that petitioner knew that all metal surfaces were to be painted and that the bridge contained a metal deck. In the event of uncertainty, petitioner should have sought clarification from respondent prior to committing itself to the endeavor. Further, the work that petitioner attempted to characterize as additional work was work already called for by the contract which, by its terms, included painting of the steel deck. Finally, petitioner failed to show the fraud or deception necessary to support a finding of constructive fraud because nothing suggested that respondent was aware of a possible discrepancy between the actual weight of the bridge and the approximate tonnage of the bridge as stated in the bid.