Family Faces $132,000 Bill After 5-Year-Old Knocks Down Sculpture
Every so often, we are reminded of the concept of self-responsibility in some form or fashion. An “anything goes” approach can sometimes provide a rude awakening for people – especially parents and their kids.
In this case, the question of who is responsible has become a very expensive one. Parents of a little boy who knocked over a glass sculpture at a community center were surprised to get a “bill”. How much? $132,000.
Two boys were caught on camera horsing around in the main area of the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas, where the piece was located. One could be seen climbing on it and hugging it. It fell off its stand and was broken.
When community center employees confronted the mom, Sarah Goodman, about not watching her child, they told her she was liable. Goodman told local news station KSHB that the children were under supervision and that “All people get distracted”.
It is true that kids wander off and that it’s difficult to keep an eye on them 24/7, but staff at the center stated that the boys were running around for quite some time.
The family was at the community center attending a wedding reception when the incident took place, and the mom was quick to point out that the statue was not protected by a barrier. Instead, she claims the sculpture was a hazard to her child since it was not secure, and there was no signage indicating not to touch it.
“It’s in the main walkway. Not a separate room. No plexiglass. Not protected. Not held down. There was no border around it. There wasn’t even a sign around it that said, ‘Do not touch.’”
Goodman also indicated she was upset that no one at the center seemed concerned about her 5-year-old son’s well-being after the statue almost fell on top of him.
The Goodmans received a letter in the mail from the center’s insurance company accusing them of negligence, and requesting that their homeowners’ insurance company pay up in the amount of $132,000. Goodman thought the cost would be a few hundred.
Now, some are debating whether it’s fair to bill the parents’ insurance company for what could be seen as an accident. Others call it a straight up case of parental neglect as they were not on the scene to prevent the kids from running around or causing damage.
A spokesperson for the community center simply filed a claim with their insurance company and stated they have a duty to protect the piece.
“It was a piece that was loaned to us that we are responsible for. That’s public money. We are responsible to protect the public investment. There’s a societal responsibility that you may not interact with it if it’s not designed for interaction.”
Click below to see the sculpture and hear more about the case. At this time, both parties are waiting to see how the insurance companies will handle it and are wondering if things will escalate into a legal battle.
What do you think of this case? Should the parents and their insurance company be on the hook? Do you think the center could have done a better job of securing the statue?