MitigationPosted: January 5, 2012
The duty to mitigate damages is a legal doctrine that pervades the law. This duty exists in a variety of circumstances, and wise owners of “stuff” (e.g. real property, equipment, a business) regularly remind themselves of this duty.
Example 1: You’re a Landlord and you have a Tenant who skips out on a 12-month lease after 2 months. As the Landlord, you cannot simply sit on an empty unit for the next 10 months and claim that the Tenant owes you rent for that 10-month period. You must employ reasonable means to rent that unit and mitigate your damages.
Example 2: You own commercial transportation equipment used to haul materials across the country. If the equipment is damaged in a hurricane, you should not simply wait until the equipment is repaired and attempt to claim lost profits if you lose the contract or are delayed in completing its performance. You should rent substitute equipment to maintain your hauling contract. You are properly mitigating your damages.
Example 3: Your business has a sewer backup that shuts down your business. You cannot simply sit on your hands hoping someone rescues you. You must employ reasonable means to continue your operations and thereby mitigate your damages.
These three scenarios generally demonstrate the importance of damage mitigation. Consider this doctrine when bad things happen. And remember to contact trusted professional advisors early in the process. You may save yourself time and money.
I do not have a funny damage mitigation video.