Wednesday, January 20, 2010
National Football Post is not the place one looks in the hopes of finding a reference to Hadley v. Baxandale, but the case figures prominently in this report on the Washington Redskins' new head coach, Mike Shanahan. The article assumes a level of knowledge regarding the NFL to which I can only aspire, but I glean from it, with the help of Wikipedia, that Mike Shanahan was formerly the head coach of the Denver Broncos. He was sacked after the 2008 season and sat out this past season but was still paid under his old contract. Now, he has been hired by the Washington Redskins, thus mitigating the damages due to him under his contract with the Broncos.
So, what does all this have to do with Hadley? Fair question. I do not know. The National Football Post cites to Hadley and accurately recites its basic facts, but the issue here is mitigation of damages, not foreseeability of consequential damages. Hadley would seem to have no application at all.
Apparently, NFL coaching contracts clearly spell out a duty to mitigate damages. The result is that Coach Shanahan will only make slightly more than he would have made under his Denver contract. However, if he had not actively sought work, Denver might have refused to pay, citing the duty to mitigate. But Hadley would only come into play if Shanahan were, for example, claiming entitlement to further recovery contingent upon information that the Broncos did not have at the time the contract was executed.
This is what happens when reporters call audibles too close to their publication deadline.