Friday, September 28, 2007

contracts - damages - duty to mitigate - burden of proof

Wilmington Finance Co. v. Matrix Financial Services - ED Pa. - September 26, 2007

"In Pennsylvania, a plaintiff in a breach-of-contract action has a duty to take reasonable steps to mitigate its damages. Delliponti v. DeAngelis, 681 A.2d 1261, 1264 (Pa. 1996). Defendant bears the burden of proving plaintiff’s alleged failure to mitigate. Id. To meet that burden, defendant must “show how further loss could have been avoided through the reasonable efforts of the injured party.” Pontiere v. James Dinert, Inc., 627 A.2d 1204, 1209 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1993)." It was thus "essential" that the defendant show that the plaintiff "could have taken reasonable steps...and that taking those steps would have prevented at least some of [plaintiff's] loss."