Webwork - 7:02 pm on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
Gross negligence tends to put into the same basket of ideas as "recklessness" -> actions taken, or failed to be taken, wilfully, cognizent (with forethought) of a significant (or significantly increased) risk of serious harm/adverse consequences.
You might take a look at criminal statutes in your jurisdiction as they labor to distinguish "degrees of crime" that are often distinguished by a "mens rea" of intent/intentional, reckless and negligent.
Intentional: Murder-> death penalty. Reckless indifference: Second degree homicide(?) -> Long jail sentences. Manslaughter -> close to a "criminal negligence" standard, which tends to be higher or different or a variation of simple negligence or negligence for civil liability purposes.
When it comes to contracts be certain to read and interpret the contract in light of the law of the "governing jurisdiction". Unless both parties are Canadian there may be conflicts of law issues OR the contract may specify whose law governs. In the USA you may have 50 different versions of "State common and statutory law" to consider, i.e., which on applies? (Most/many contracts will spell out the controlling law.)