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Supermarket prank hits YouTube, creates worry over slip-and-falls

Posted on in Premises Liability

What kids think is funny tends to change over time. These days, some of what teens think is funny is truly dangerous. When a so-called prank involves more people than just those who are executing it, it shifts from comedic to carelessness.

A group of out-of-state teens has been engaging in planned acts that are careless on various levels. They are doing what the is now dubbed "gallon smashing," and putting unsuspecting shoppers in danger, as well as impacting business in the stores where they are pulling off the pranks.

The teens can be seen gallon smashing on the YouTube videos that they have reportedly posted of themselves committing the reckless act. Basically, they nonchalantly walk through an aisle of a supermarket while carrying two gallons of juice or milk. They intentionally throw the gallons of liquid so they break and spill on the floor. Then the teens fall down, making shoppers around them believe that they accidentally fell. They lie on the floor, liquid spilled all around and under them.

Authorities report that the teens have been identified and will be held accountable for the property damage that they've caused as well as face other criminal charges. But this prank also brings up the matter of premises liability. The kids' YouTube video attracted viewers across the country. Perhaps copycats will emerge in California supermarkets and stores throughout the U.S.

Gallon smashing disrespects a store and its property but it also creates unsafe conditions where an unsuspecting patron could slip and hurt herself. Slip-and-fall accidents can sometimes lead to serious health conditions such as back injuries and head injuries. Such damage can keep someone from going to work and lead to a pile of medical bills.

Our San Jose premises liability firm handles cases involving slip-and-fall accidents, whether they occur in a supermarket, at a construction site, a street or somewhere else. We understand how serious slip-and-fall injuries can be and we work to get victims of negligence the compensation that they need.

Source: NBC Philadelphia, "Police Crackdown on Teen 'Gallon Smashers'," David Chang, March 18, 2013

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