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Gross Negligence

What is gross negligence?

Gross negligence means carelessness or recklessness that amounts to a conscious disregard for the safety of others. Gross negligence involves a higher degree of carelessness than ordinary negligence. For example, dumping toxic waste into your neighbor’s swimming pool would constitute gross negligence.

Why is gross negligence significant?

In a personal injury action, it may be necessary to prove gross negligence to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish a defendant rather than to compensate a plaintiff for his injuries. In addition, some laws grant immunity to certain persons (such as government employees) unless they are guilty of gross negligence.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

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