What Is Considered Gross Negligence?
In contrast to simple negligence (failure to exercise reasonable care), gross negligence is defined as a conscious and voluntary act or omission in reckless disregard of the foreseeable consequences to another party. To put it simply, gross negligence is the conscious and reckless disregard for the lives or safety of others.
Unlike ordinary negligence—which is judged on a “preponderance of the evidence” (i.e., more likely than not)—plaintiffs arguing gross negligence must provide “clear and convincing” evidence that the defendant was grossly negligent.
If it can be shown that the defendant’s actions indeed rose to the level of gross negligence, the victim may be allowed to seek additional punitive damages from the defendant.
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