On one side of the spectrum, certain courts, such as New York, define gross negligence as conduct that borders intentional wrongdoing. On the other side of the spectrum, courts continue to recognize the degrees of negligence and differentiate between various degrees of care. Between these two approaches, there is inconsistency. For instance, some Illinois decisions equate gross negligence to recklessness, while others define it as nothing more than “very great negligence.” This Article concludes that the latter may be the proper standard relied upon by a majority of the recent decisions interpreting Illinois law, but advocates for a uniform definition to ease the burden on the parties attempting to define this imprecise term. Lastly, it provides a table of various definitions of “gross negligence” among all fifty states.
Olga Voinarevich, An Overview of the Grossly Inconsistent Definitions of “Gross Negligence” in American Jurisprudence, 48 J. Marshall L. Rev. 471 (2015)