Legal Definition of ''Reckless''

In Barnes v. MeijerDept. Store, 2004-Ohio-1716, Butler App. No. CA 2003-09-246, the plaintiff filed a complaint against the defendant for malicious prosecution and a violation of Section 1983, Title 42, U.S. Code, and the trial court granted summary judgment to the defendant. On appeal, the Court of Appeals had reason to define "reckless" and "wanton misconduct," which it said was "complete disregard for the care and safety of others, indifference to the consequences, with a belief that probable harm will result." In Marcum v. Talawanda City Schools (1996), 108 Ohio App. 3d 412, 670 N.E. 2d 1067, the Twelfth District held that school officials did not act recklessly or in bad faith when a teacher left her students unattended and an assault resulted. There was no recklessness that could give rise to liability because "recklessness" on the part of a public employee refers to an act done with knowledge or reason to know of facts that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the conduct creates an unnecessary risk of harm and that such risk is substantially greater than that necessary to make the conduct negligent.