First things first: the eventual contract for the plumbing work will be bilateral, not unilateral. It's not going to be a case where the contractor simply tells the plumber that if he happens to show up and complete the work, the contractor will play him. The contractor will need more certainty than that, so both he and the plumber will contract to perform--the plumber working, the contractor paying. Unlike in a unilateral contract setting, the plumber won't have the option of just not showing up or of starting the work and then stopping.BCLS wrote:Can anyone explain Contract Set 5 # 15? I can't wrap my head around this one. How is the K not unilateral when the contractor used the bid?
What is unilateral is the contractor's option to accept the plumber's bid. Normally, an offer can be rescinded at any time, but in the case of contracting that would be unworkable. When a potential subcontractor sends in a bid to a potential general contractor, the sub knows that the GC has to rely on the sub's bid in making his own bid. Thus, even though the GC doesn't pay consideration, he gets an option to accept within a reasonable time after the bid process is complete.
In this case, the contractor had not yet exercised his option, and his statement that he would just forget that the plumber had ever submitted the bid operated to rescind the option contract.