gross negligence

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Related to gross negligence: ordinary negligence

Gross Negligence

An indifference to, and a blatant violation of, a legal duty with respect to the rights of others.

Gross negligence is a conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care, which is likely to cause foreseeable grave injury or harm to persons, property, or both. It is conduct that is extreme when compared with ordinary Negligence, which is a mere failure to exercise reasonable care. Ordinary negligence and gross negligence differ in degree of inattention, while both differ from willful and wanton conduct, which is conduct that is reasonably considered to cause injury. This distinction is important, since contributory negligence—a lack of care by the plaintiff that combines with the defendant's conduct to cause the plaintiff's injury and completely bar his or her action—is not a defense to willful and wanton conduct but is a defense to gross negligence. In addition, a finding of willful and wanton misconduct usually supports a recovery of Punitive Damages, whereas gross negligence does not.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

gross negligence

n. carelessness in reckless disregard for the safety or lives of others, which is so great it appears to be a conscious violation of other people's rights to safety. It is more than simple inadvertence, but it is just shy of being intentionally evil. If one has borrowed or contracted to take care of another's property, then gross negligence is the failure to actively take the care one would of his/her own property. If gross negligence is found by the trier of fact (judge or jury), it can result in the award of punitive damages on top of general and special damages. (See: negligence, damages, punitive damages)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

gross negligence

Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

GROSS NEGLIGENCE. Lata culpa, or, as the Roman lawyers most accurately call it) dolo proxima, is, in practice, considered as equivalent to dolus or fraud itself, and consists, according to the best interpreters, in the omission of that care which even inattentive and thoughtless men never fail to take of their own property. Jones on Bailments, 20. It must not be confounded, however, with fraud, for it may exist consistently with good faith and honesty of intention, according to common law authorities.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Like Alberta, a person injured as a result of snow and ice on the sidewalk must show gross negligence on the part of the municipality to succeed in a claim for damages.
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Gross negligence manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
| Benjamin Fitzsimons (inset top) and Ben Wilson (inset bottom) are accused of gross negligence manslaughter after Peter Colwell, 18, was shot dead
Following the July acquittal, the prosecution applied to take the case to the Supreme Court, claiming the law on gross negligence manslaughter is "not satisfactorily clear."
Sentencing Rose, Judge Jeremy Stuart-Smith said it was the first case of its type, as convictions for manslaughter by gross negligence generally involve multiple lapses over time in the face of patients who were displaying obvious symptoms that called for immediate treatment.
Dr Rudling, 46, of Pontprennau, Cardiff, denies gross negligence manslaughter and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Pentagon cannot simply chalk up the bombing of a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan to human error because the US assessment reveals gross negligence and war crimes were committed, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said.
THE driver of a 32-tonne tipper truck which struck and killed four people has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and manslaughter by gross negligence.
Meanwhile, BP officials have expressed skepticism at the government's gross negligence claims, maintaining that Transocean and Halliburton also share a large part of the blame for the spill.
IN ACCUSING BP of gross negligence and willful misconduct over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the US Justice Department has shown that it is prepared for a bruising court struggle with the London-based oil giant.