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3.4-8  Damages - Duty to Mitigate (or Minimize)

New March 25, 2011

You should also consider what efforts the plaintiff took to minimize the effects of (his/her) injury. One who has been injured by the negligence of another must use reasonable care, such as following doctorís instructions regarding the treatment of (his/her) injuries, to promote recovery and prevent any aggravation or increase of the injury. The plaintiff is not entitled to be compensated for any injury or aggravation of injury caused by (his/her) failure to minimize damages. Thus, you should reduce the damages awarded to the plaintiff to the extent you find that the plaintiff made (his/her) condition worse by not taking reasonable care to promote (his/her) recovery or prevent any aggravation or increase of the injury. It is the defendantís burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the plaintiff has failed to minimize (his/her) damages.


Hallas v. Boehmke & Dobosz, Inc., 239 Conn. 658, 668-69 (1997); Preston v. Keith, 217 Conn. 12, 15-19 (1991).


The defendants have the burden of production and the burden of proof, but they do not have to plead the failure to mitigate damages as a special defense or a cause of action for negligence. Keans v. Bocciarelli, 35 Conn. App. 239, 243, cert. denied, 231 Conn. 934 (1994).


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