A bar of soap on the bathroom floor, a skate on a staircase, a banana peel on the sidewalk – these are some of the classic causes of slips and falls. A foot in the aisle, uneven pavements, and exposed electrical cords are stereotypical culprits for trips and tumbles. If someone cites one of these items as the precipitator of a slip or trip, it's not hard to believe or to sympathize.

These are things that are easy to overlook and shouldn't be there in the first place.

If, however, someone slips on a skate in the lobby of a skating rink, where shoes and skates are strewn about, or trips on exposed cords under a bandstand, where great masses of cords are frequently exposed, whose fault is that?

Freak accidents do happen, but there are certain obvious hazards that everyone should be aware of and guard against.

At a supermarket, for instance, it would not be advisable to climb into the ice cream freezer and sit there for an hour in biker shorts and a tube top. Nor would it be prudent to sample raw pork sausage or juggle gallon jars of dill pickles.

Anyone who did these things would be expected to suffer the predictable consequences at his own expense.

Pallets on the ground are one of the obvious hazards of a supermarket.

They're not as imposing when they're empty as they are when full, but they're not exactly roller skates either. They're pallets, for Pete's sake – in a supermarket, where pallets belong.

Nevertheless, Charlotte Pearson of Washington Park says she tripped over one at the Schnuck Market at State and 25th in East St. Louis.

She's now suing Shnuck's, Coca-Cola, and Pepsico.

Did Coke and Pepsi share a pallet? Highly unlikely. But both enjoy liquid assets that Pearson hopes to find refreshing.

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