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C.I.C. Corporation v. Ragtime, Inc.

New Jersey Court of Appeals
726 A.2d 316 (1999)


Facts

C.I.C. Corporation (CIC) (plaintiff), a vending-machine company, placed four vending machines on the premises of Ragtime, Inc. (Ragtime) (defendant), a bar owned by Donald Tabatneck (defendant). The parties agreed to a five-year lease of the machines, during which revenue would be shared between CIC and Tabatneck. After a payment dispute, CIC removed the vending machines from Ragtime’s premises. CIC then brought suit against Ragtime and Tabatneck, seeking to recover $41,000, constituting the total loss of CIC’s revenue for the four vending machines during the 59-month period that remained on the lease when Ragtime breached. Ragtime contended that CIC had failed to mitigate damages and thus was not entitled to the damages. CIC argued that it had no mitigation duty under the circumstances. The trial judge’s jury instructions directed the jury that in determining an appropriate damages award, the jury could consider what CIC should have done to mitigate damages. The jury awarded $1 in damages. CIC moved for a new trial on damages. The trial court denied the motion, and CIC appealed both the jury award and the denial of the motion for a new trial.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Pressler, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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