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Avoidable Consequences

Breach Of Contract, Torts

The doctrine that places the responsibility of minimizing damages upon the person who has been injured.

The major function of the doctrine is to reduce the damages brought about by the defendant's misconduct. Ordinarily, an individual cannot recover for losses that might have been prevented through reasonable effort by the person, particularly where the conduct causing the loss or injury is not willful, intentional, or perpetuated in bad faith. The rule of avoidable consequences applies to both contract and TORT actions, but is not applicable in cases involving willful injury or where the plaintiff could not possibly have circumvented any of the harm for which he or she claims damages.

The efforts that the person who has been injured must take to avoid the consequences of the misconduct are required to be reasonable, based upon the circumstances of the particular case, and subject to the rules of common sense and fair dealing. That which is reasonably required is contingent upon the extent of the potential injury as compared with the cost of rectifying the situation, and the realistic likelihood of success in the protective effort. A plaintiff who neglects to mitigate damages will not be entirely barred from recovering such damages that he or she might have circumvented through reasonable efforts.

Included in the effort that the law requires is the payment of reasonable expenditures. The injured party need not, however, make extraordinary payments to prevent the consequences of the wrongdoer's conduct. The plaintiff's inability to produce funds to meet the situation presented can excuse efforts to reduce the injury.


Mitigation of Damages.

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