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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.

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Falls represent a substantial risk of injury to both nursing home residents and employees, in California and across the country. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that nursing home workers are forced to take time off work for injuries at rates 2.3 times higher than all other employees in private industry. An analysis of the reasons shows that slip-and-fall accidents are largely to blame for the discrepancy.

For that reason, OSHA is planning to conduct a campaign for the next three years focusing on inspecting nursing homes for safety violations, hoping to prevent some of these falls and the resulting injuries. Slip-and-fall accidents account for 15 percent of all deaths from accidents in this country, making it a cause of death second only to vehicle crashes.

Some of these falls are caused by slippery, wet and dirty surfaces on the floors of nursing homes, leaving much room for improvement in efforts to prevent such accidents. Nursing homes, as well as other facilities and businesses experiencing a high number of injuries from falls, may wish to consider the use of a commercial floor mat system. The use of such mats, especially in areas with heavy foot traffic, can prevent moisture and dirt from pooling and piling up on walking surfaces.

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A California jury awarded the victim of a slip and fall injury $38.6 million to compensate the person for a brain injury caused by a low motel balcony railing. The railing was significantly lower than local building codes required and therefore did not protect anyone over 5 feet 7 inches tall from falling.

While this award is certainly larger than a typical slip and fall settlement would be, it also shows that these types of accidents can cause very severe injuries. This is one of the many reasons why property owners are held to the standard of reasonable safety for visitors and why they have a duty to warn people of known or likely hazards.

Brain injuries are some of the most difficult injuries to recover from, since the brain is slow to repair itself and does not regrow tissue the way that other organs can. Many accident victims who sustain head and brain injuries suffer from memory loss and loss of other cognitive functions that can make it difficult or impossible to continue to work. One of the major factors influencing large awards in brain injury cases is often the large amount of lost wages caused by the injury.

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Customers of retail and food service establishments expect to remain safe during their shopping and dining experiences. They presume that facility owners will take appropriate measures to prevent a slip-and-fall incident, object strikes and other injuries. This is not always the case, however, as demonstrated by a recent California ruling against merchandising giant Costco.

The 58-year-old woman was awarded more than $400,000 after a jury trial in California concluded early this month. She was injured while dining in the Costco snack bar. As she was walking through the area, she slipped on some soap and shattered her kneecap. The woman's attorneys say that multiple employees recognized the spill, but none of them followed procedure by stopping to clean it up. Costco representatives did not give a statement about the case.

The woman has undergone one surgery to reconstruct her kneecap, but she faces additional operations and physical therapy to fully repair the damage. She received nearly $90,000 to cover her current and future medical needs, along with $325,000 for pain and suffering. The jury's decision was unanimous.

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An accident at a Southern California coffee shop four years ago continues to serve as a reminder that life can change dramatically in the time it takes a barista to whip up your morning latte. All it takes is a serious slip and fall.

That's what happened to a chiropractor who visited a Starbucks store in March 2008. He was picking up his order when he slipped on a floor that had just been mopped, according to his lawyer. Although the manager of the coffee shop testified she put out three cones warning customers that the floor was wet, witnesses claimed to have seen only one.

After the fall, the chiropractor said he suffered from persistent head pain, nausea and a concussion, among other symptoms. He was later diagnosed with mild brain trauma and told he would need a year of therapy for his brain injury. The man, who said he has been unable to return to work since the accident, sued Starbucks for loss of income, medical expenses and the loss of enjoyment of life.

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The holiday season is extremely busy for most businesses, especially for retail establishments. It is also a time when slip, trip and fall accidents increase due to inclement winter weather. This is not just a concern for the safety of customers and employees, but also for potential lawsuits that might result from a fall.

According to the National Safety Council, business owners spend $70 billion annually in worker compensation and medical claims. The winter months are when a good deal of these compensation claims are filed. That's why business owners are encouraged to take all precautions necessary to prevent workers and customers from becoming injured on the property.

Salting sidewalks when the conditions may be slippery and placing mats outside and inside the entrance to the store is essential to reduce the likelihood of a bad fall on the premises, but many business owners fail to do this. Mats should be properly secured in its location, have good traction and slip-resistant backing. They should also be kept clean. Up to a pound of dirt and other debris can build up on these mats in a single week, rendering them far less effective and possibly doing more harm than good.

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It's dinnertime and your stomach is growling. You and your friends discuss possible places to eat, eventually settling on a restaurant nearby. As you walk into the restaurant excitedly, you suddenly slip and fall, landing with a thud. Instead of leaving with a full stomach, you leave the restaurant with a number of injuries.

This is not a fictional scenario. This actually happened to a woman who had been walking through a restaurant. She slipped on some salad dressing that had fallen on the floor. She fell and sustained a number of mental and physical injuries as a result. The woman filed a premises liability lawsuit against the restaurant.

When a company or business, such as a restaurant, fails to properly clean up spills on the ground, customers can get hurt. Even a seemingly minor fall can leave a customer with chronic hip pain or even broken bones. These types of falls can be the result of negligence on the part of the property owner.

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When you enter a store in California, you expect that the store owner and employees are taking reasonable care to protect you from hazards or dangers. The last thing you expect is for something to fall on you or for you to trip on something while you are shopping.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that a million Americans slip and fall on someone else's property each year. This can be due to a number of different factors: icy sidewalks, water on the floor, and even slipping on an object that should not have been in the middle of a walkway. But what can be done in the event of a slip and fall?

A slip and fall victim can sustain a number of different injuries, from minor bruises to a brain injury. Even the less severe injuries can result in serious financial difficulties for the injured person - a trip to the emergency room to simply make sure nothing is wrong can cost thousands of dollars. If the injury is serious, there could be long-term care required, surgical procedures, and medication that costs a lot.

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Getting injured in a slip-and-fall accident can lead to a number of injuries. Serious injuries can result in high medical bills and financial challenges resulting from an inability to work. Victims of slip-and-fall incidents can seek compensation by filing premises liability claims.

One man filed a lawsuit nearly three years ago against celebrity Sharon Stone on the grounds that he slipped and fell on her property. The trial began yesterday; it is unclear how long it will take to reach a verdict. However, if the court finds in favor of the man, Stone could be ordered to pay him a settlement.

The incident occurred when the man was installing speakers on Stone's property in 2006. According to the man, there was a drop-off that was not apparent to him while he was working; he fell down and landed on a fence that separated Stone's property from her neighbors. The fence then collapsed and he fell into the neighbor's yard. He was injured but the extent of the injuries was not specified in the article.

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Even a simple slip-and-fall can result in serious injuries. This type of incident can happen in a number of different situations such as slipping on a wet floor or tripping over an item negligently left in a shopping aisle. When the incident occurs on someone else's property, an injured person may have a premises liability claim against the property managers.

Sometimes these types of accidents can be fatal. Just recently, the family of a college student filed a lawsuit against the state of California, the California Department of Transportation, and two Trusts that own land near Yosemite National Park. The lawsuit claims that the defendants failed to keep public property safe.

The fatal accident occurred over a year ago when a young man and some friends were on a road trip to Yosemite. On the way, they decided to stop and explore a bit, finding a culvert tunnel. But when the young man emerged from the tunnel, he slipped on a wet rock and fell 50 feet into rocky terrain to his death.

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