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“Plaintiff’s total damages are not recoverable to the extent his or her own negligence contributed to the injuries. Rather, awardable damages must be proportionately reduced to reflect the percentage of plaintiff’s “fault.” Li is uniformly interpreted as extending the comparative negligence doctrine to all cases where the parties’ conduct was anything less than intentional—i.e., where each party’s “fault” was different in degree rather than “kind.” Damages are apportionable between a party who engaged in “reckless” misconduct or “gross negligence” and a party guilty only of “ordinary negligence.” In effect, Li is deemed to abrogate an independent “gross negligence” theory of recovery; extreme negligence is just as suitable for comparison as any other degree of negligence.

An injured party must act reasonably to minimize the resulting injuries or loss. Therefore, damages cannot be recovered for increased or aggravated harm that could have been avoided through reasonable efforts or expenditures on plaintiff’s part. The “avoidable consequences” limitation is imposed simply to deter claimants from unnecessarily building up damages. Thus, plaintiff is not required to minimize damages by doing what is unreasonable or impracticable.

Like “comparative negligence” and the “avoidable consequences” doctrines, various laws may limit plaintiff’s recoverable damages.

[California Practice Guide: Personal Injury [certain citations omitted]]


Post Author: lawofficesofjamesrdickinson