money & Banking

Mon, 18 Jun, 2018Melody Teh

Parents slapped with $177,000 bill after son knocks over sculpture

Parents slapped with $177,000 bill after son knocks over sculpture

The parents of a five-year-old boy have been slapped with a US$132,000 (AU$177,000) bill after their son knocked over the art sculpture on display at a local community centre.

Security footage of the room shows a boy approaching the expensive sculpture, “Aphrodite di Kansas City” on display in the lobby of the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas, when it toppled over.

A few days later, the family received a $132,000 claim from the city of Overland Park’s insurance company, saying that the piece had been damaged beyond repair.

“You’re responsible for the supervision of a minor child… your failure to monitor could be considered negligent,” the insurance letter read in part.

The boy’s mother Sarah Goodman told the Kansas City Star she didn’t see the artwork hit the ground, but her son suffered minor injuries when it fell.

“I was surprised, absolutely, more so offended to be called negligent,” Mrs Goodman said. “They were treating this like a crime scene.”

She disputes the city’s claim that her child wasn’t being supervised and she said that she and her husband were out of frame of the surveillance camera saying their goodbyes during a wedding reception, when the incident occurred.

“No one would ever to expect that to come into a place that kids are invited and have to worry about a $132,000 dollar piece of art falling on their child,” NRs Goodman said. “Because he didn’t maliciously break that. It fell on him. It was not secure, it was not safe -- at all.”

She added that the artwork was not protected in any way.

“It’s in the main walkway. Not a separate room. No plexiglass. Not protected. Not held down,” she told KSHB.

“There was no border around it. There wasn’t even a sign around it that said, ‘Do not touch.’”

City spokesman Sean Reilly said the work was on loan to the city and that it was obligated to file a claim with its insurance company for the damage.