Mitigation-of-Damages Doctrine – the principle inducing a plaintiff, after an injury or breach of contract, to make reasonable efforts to alleviate the effects of the injury or breach, or else the plaintiff’s recovery may be reduced

mitigation-of-damages doctrine:
(1978)

1. The principle inducing a plaintiff, after an injury or breach of contract, to make reasonable efforts to alleviate the effects of the injury or breach.  *  If the defendant can show that the plaintiff failed to mitigate damages, the plaintiff’s recovery may be reduced. — aka avoidable-consequences doctrine.

Cf. Doctrine of Constructive service (2)

mitigation of damages:

1. Broadly, every fact tending to decrease the damages allowable in an action.  22 Am J2d Damg § 20.

More precisely, those facts which tend to show that the conceded or assumed cause of action does not entitle the plaintiff to as large an amount of damages as otherwise would be recoverable.  22 Am J2d Damg § 200.
     There are three typical situations within the more limited definition: —

(1) that the plaintiff reasonable could have avoided a part or all the consequences of the defendant’s wrongful act;
(2) that the plaintiff received a benefit as a result of the defendant’s wrongful act; and
(3) that in cases where the defendant’s conduct is material to the damages recoverable, his conduct was not as wrongful as plaintiff claims.  22 Am J2d Damg § 200. [2]

1. Facts that tend to show that the plaintiff is not entitled to as large an amount of damages as would otherwise be recoverable.  The law obligates an injured party to mitigate his injury, i.e., to do all he reasonably can to avoid or lessen the consequences of the other party’s wrongful act.  EXAMPLE: a landlord whose tenant abandons a one-year lease after two months, and refused to make further rental payments, is entitled to recover the lost rental only if and to the extent that she has made reasonable efforts to find a substitute tenant. [3]

References:

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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition by Jack Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

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