Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sommer v. Kridel case brief

Sommer v. Kridel case brief summary
378 A.2d 767

CASE SYNOPSIS: Defendants appealed the Appellate Division's (New Jersey) orders allowing the plaintiff landlords in two cases to recover rents due under the leases regardless of whether they had attempted to re-let the vacated apartments.

FACTS: Defendants in two separate cases signed a residential lease for apartments which they vacated. Landlords sued tenants to collect rent for the entire lease. One trial court dismissed the complaint, which was reversed on appeal; other trial court's grant of summary judgment for plaintiff was affirmed on appeal. Both defendants appealed. In one case, plaintiff landlord said he did not attempt to re-let, and even denied a potential tenant the opportunity to rent the vacated apartment. The other plaintiff did not respond to the interrogatories.

The court reversed, holding plaintiff landlords had an obligation to make a reasonable effort to mitigate damages in wrongfully vacated apartments.

Therefore, the court overruled Joyce v. Bauman, 113 N.J.L. 438 (E. & A. 1934), to the extent it was inconsistent with its decision.

CONCLUSION: The judgment of one case was reversed because the plaintiff landlord did not mitigate his damages and could have re-leased the apartment right away; other case was reversed and remanded to determine whether the landlord could have mitigated the damages.

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