Mitigation of Damages
A requirement that one injured by reason of another’s tort or breach of an agreement exercise reasonable diligence and ordinary care to avoid aggravating the injury or increasing the damages. The term also refers to a defendant’s request to the court for a reduction in damages owed to the plaintiff, a request that the defendant justifies by reason of some evidence that shows the plaintiff not entitled to the full amount that might otherwise be awarded to him.
Duty to Mitigate Damages – Not actually a duty in the sense that its breach will give rise to a cause of action against the person who violates it. Rather it expresses the general rule that one who was wronged must act reasonably to avoid or limit losses or be precluded from recovering damages that could reasonably have been avoided. In this sense the rule has been termed a “rule of avoidable consequences” rather than a duty to mitigate damages. Thus, if a wrongfully discharged employee failed to look for alternative work and work was readily available of the same kind that was the subject of the breached contract, the employer would be allowed to deduct what the earnings could have been from the damages claimed.