Parents charged $132,000 after son knocks over sculpture

Parents charged $132,000 after son knocks over sculpture

Parents often have to deal with their children causing a little havoc in public. Whether it's the frustration of a child crying on a cramped bus or a toddler walking into a passer-by, it's extremely difficult to completely protect them from the world.

However, usually when a child is on an accident-prone path of destruction, the worst that comes about from it is a scuffed knee or a disgruntled commuter. Yet in this case, two parents ended up stuck with a $132,000 bill for a piece of art, all because they weren't watching their son at that moment in time.

Troy was running around inside the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas, when he brought a sculpture crashing to the floor. He hugged  the sculpture, possibly assuming it was bolted down, before it started to fall. While he tried to return it to its position, he failed, and they both fell to the ground.

The child's mother, Sarah Goodman, said it happened during a wedding reception last month. Speaking to KSHB News, she said:

"We heard a bunch of commotion and I thought, 'Whose yelling at my son?' This glass mosaic torso is laying on the ground and someone is following me around demanding my personal information.”

She and her husband received a letter from an insurance company, which stated that they were negligent for not monitoring their children. "My children are well supervised but all people get distracted," she said.

Goodman believes that if the sculpture had such a hefty price tag, then there should have been more markings and other protective measures to ensure that it didn't get damaged. She believes that without any of these measures, it's understandable that a young child may not understand 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.’

"He’s honestly been having bad dreams every night. None of these people have ever once said, ‘How is Troy? How is your son holding up? Is his face okay?’"

A spokesperson with the City of Overland Park said the city filed an insurance claim, who then sent the letter to the family. "It was a piece that was loaned to us that we are responsible for. That’s public money," spokesperson Sean Reilly explained. "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," he said. Although, it should be noted that a very young child may not be totally aware of this 'societal responsibility'.

Either way, the city is left with a lot of money to be paid off, and it looks like the parents are going to have to bear the brunt of it. "$132,000 is completely astronomical," Goodman said. "We’ll see what the insurance company says and if they’re going to take it to lawyers. We don’t know."