Mitigation: Is there still a loss?

6 November, 2014
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

 

 

It is always important to carefully consider the loss actually suffered in professional negligence claims. 

The recent case of Bacciottini and Cook v Gotelee & Goldsmith (A firm) [2014] is an example of where the loss which the Claimant argued was suffered had been eroded away by the Claimant’s mitigation.

The case concerned the purchase of a property, whereby the Defendant solicitors failed to advise of an adverse condition on the use of the property.  The loss claimed was an overpayment of £100,000 for the property.  Whilst the solicitors admitted negligence, the loss was disputed.

After the purchase, the claimant had succeeded in getting the adverse condition lifted. A claimant is of course under a duty to mitigate the loss.

However, the court therefore limited damages to £250 – the cost of mitigating the loss.  The alleged loss had been eradicated by the steps taken by the claimant after the purchase.