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.
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