Who Says Life’s Not Fair: Good Faith and Fair Dealing Prevails in Metcalf Case

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Yesterday, Pillsbury attorneys Joël Van Over and Alex Ginsberg published their advisory titled Who Says Life’s Not Fair: Good Faith and Fair Dealing Prevails in Metcalf Case. The Advisory discusses the Federal Circuit’s highly anticipated decision in Metcalf Construction Company, Inc. v. United States, No. 2013-5041 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 11, 2014). The Federal Circuit ruled that a contractor suing the government for breaching the implied duty of “good faith and fair dealing” need not show that the government’s conduct was “specifically targeted” to reappropriate the contractor’s benefits under the subject contract except in limited circumstances present in the court’s 2010 decision in Precision Pine & Timber, Inc. v. United States, 596 F.3d 817 (Fed. Cir. 2010). Rather, in Metcalf, the court reaffirmed the vitality of traditional standards used to prove a breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, such as where the government hindered or failed to cooperate with the contractor’s performance so as to “destroy the [contractor’s] reasonable expectations. . . regarding the fruits of the contract.”