What is a plaintiff’s duty to take reasonable steps to mitigate her damages?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Giczi v. Kandola, 2014 BCSC 508 (CanLII):

The plaintiff has a duty to take reasonable steps to mitigate her damages. The defendant recognizes the onus is on him to show: the steps she might have taken to avert the loss; that a reasonable person would have taken those steps; that the plaintiff unreasonably failed to pursue those steps; and the extent to which the plaintiff’s loss would have been reduced had those steps been taken: Janiak v. Ippolito¸ 1985 CanLII 62 (SCC), [1985] 1 S.C.R. 146 at paras. 32-35.

In Chiu v. Chiu, 2002 BCCA 618, Low J.A. explained the test to be applied in determining whether a defendant has proven a failure to mitigate. At para. 57 he wrote: … In a personal injury case in which the plaintiff has not pursued a course of medical treatment recommended to him by doctors, the defendant must prove two things: (1) that the plaintiff acted unreasonably in eschewing the recommended treatment, and (2) the extent, if any, to which the plaintiff’s damages would have been reduced had he acted reasonably. …

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