DEFINITION of 'Wanton Disregard '
A standard of severe negligence. Wanton disregard is a very serious accusation that indicates that a person behaved extremely recklessly. Wanton disregard is not malicious, but it is more serious than carelessness. Wanton disregard can be used as evidence of gross negligence. In a lawsuit, wanton disregard might result in punitive damages depending on the severity of the situation and state laws.
BREAKING DOWN 'Wanton Disregard '
For example, let's say that a financial advisor at a large firm uses the company's online database to store sensitive information about his clients. The database is hacked and a client's identity is stolen. The client tells his financial advisor that he thinks his identity was stolen through the financial advisor's firm. The financial advisor notifies the appropriate people within the company, but they do not correct the problem. This would be considered wanton disregard because while the company is not intentionally or maliciously exposing its clients' sensitive financial data, but it is recklessly ignoring a problem that it has been made aware of.