Legal Memorandum: A Claim of Gross Negligence in VA

Issue: Under Virginia law, what are the elements for a claim of gross negligence?

Area of Law: Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Claim of gross negligence; The utter disregard of prudence; Complete neglect of the safety of another
Jurisdiction: Virginia
Cited Cases: 708 S.E.2d 824; 727 S.E.2d 634; 283 Va. 657; 281 Va. 630
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 02/01/2015

The Virginia Supreme Court has defined “gross negligence” as “the utter disregard of prudence amounting to complete neglect of the safety of another.  It is a heedless and palpable violation of legal duty respecting the rights of others which amounts to the absence of slight diligence, or the want of even scant care.”  Burns v. Ganon, 283 Va. 657, 678, 727 S.E.2d 634, 647 (2012) (quoting Volpe v. City of Lexington, 281 Va. 630, 639, 708 S.E.2d 824, 829 (2011)).


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