Having a child means your daily responsibilities are multiplied by infinity. As a parent you are fully responsible for ensuring your child is properly taken care of, that they are well taken care of including fed and clothed and bathed and often most importantly, well supervised.
Children of all ages can get themselves in to a lot of trouble when left unattended for even just a moment, and that trouble can end up costing you a lot of money. One family learned this the hard way after their child knocked down a very expensive sculpture at a local community center.
Sarah Goodman, the mother of the young boy who knocked over the sculpture, told KSHB News that she, her husband and 5-year-old son were attending a wedding reception at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas when her son appeared to hug a sculpture that was placed on a pedestal. The sculpture then fell over, along with the child.
“We heard a bunch of commotion and I thought, 'Who's yelling at my son?'” Goodman explained to the news station. “This glass mosaic torso is laying on the ground and someone is following me around demanding my personal information.”
She told ABC News that it was just a few days later when she received a bill from Overland Park’s insurance companyfor $132,000. The claim said the sculpture had been too damaged to repair and Goodman would be responsible for the damage.
The letter claimed Goodman was negligent in supervising her son so she was then responsible for the cost of the sculpture.
“I was surprised, absolutely, more so offended to be called negligent,” she said. “They were treating this like a crime scene.”
“My children are well supervised, but all people get distracted,” she said.
Bill Lyons, the artist who created the piece, told ABC that it took him approximately two years to create the piece and after assessing the damage he concluded it couldn't be repaired.
Goodman feels that the community center needs to take some responsibility for the accident, claiming it should have at least been roped off or secured.
“It’s in the main walkway. Not a separate room. No plexiglass. Not protected. Not held down,” she said. “There was no border around it. There wasn’t even a sign around it that said, ‘Do not touch.’”
She said she and her husband were just out of view of surveillance cameras saying their goodbyes as they were leaving the wedding reception when the accident happened.
“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,” Goodman said. “Because he didn’t maliciously break that. It fell on him. It was not secure, it was not safe -- at all.”
Goodman is also upset that no one has even asked if her son is alright after the sculpture fell on him.
City of Overland Park spokesperson Sean Reilly told KSHB; “There’s a societal responsibility that you may not interact with it if it’s not designed for interaction. It was a piece that was loaned to us that we are responsible for. That’s public money,” he explained. “We are responsible to protect the public investment.”
It is a lot of money for the Goodman family and they're still unsure how they will pay the hefty bill.
“$132,000 is completely astronomical,” she said. “We’ll see what the insurance company says and if they’re going to take it to lawyers. We don’t know.”