Child hit with $132,000 bill for accidentally knocking over sculpture

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/18/child-hit-with-132000-bill-f.html

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Fortunately our government has some recent experience in how to properly jail kids.

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Geez, is the sculptor dead? Can they not find a decently-priced conservator?

ETA: To me, this looks like a piece that can be easily and handily reproduced.

ETA ETA: But then again, we could wind up with Mirror Monkey-Jesus.

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That’s just twelve E-Z monthly payments of $11,000

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

So the kid was in fact unsupervised.

I am curious about the art piece not being properly secured. I have been in plenty of places that did not have certain art pieces totally secured and had no issues. But in terms of liability i presume this could be an issue for the property owner should someone else damage it right?
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IMHO, the kid did everyone a favor.

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Isn’t this just standard subrogation? The insurance company that paid the $132,000 claim wants the parents’ insurance to reimburse them. If there’s no insurance, they will go away.

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I think so.

They will probably settle for a fraction of that amount, somewhere between what the parents can just write a check for and what the parents might as well fight all the way to bankruptcy.

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Didn’t look like no accident to me. Some kids just hate fine art.

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What the hell is a $132,000 piece of art doing unsecured in a COMMUNITY CENTER??!!

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And if the kid in the process of climbing on it/knocking it over, had had the thing fall on him causing injury, who’d be suing who now regarding an unsecured sculpture?

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That’s among the things i was considering, which is why i mentioned it. To me it seems like it would ultimately be the owner’s responsibility regardless if there hadn’t been any issues in the past. I am glad the kid wasn’t hurt by the glass sculpture, billing the parents for it seems to add insult to injury.

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Have you folk seen the Aphrodite di Kansas City? It’s terrible. The $132K valuation is not just generous, it’s ludacris. It’s also in a community center. Community, as in, you know, everyone and center as in a place for. One would expect a place designated as somewhere intended for everyone might reasonably expect children to be part of everyone and enact basic safety measures to ensure your ambitiously valued installations won’t be able to topple over and hurt people.

edit to add

Lyons, the artist, said: ‘I want to be reimbursed for the amount of time that I spent on it and for what I think it is worth.’

So that’s what the “artist” says it’s worth and not an objective valuation by an actual art dealer.

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They need, I don’t know, INSURANCE?

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Define “properly supervised” — was the child in the clutches of both parent’s hands? Was the child in view of parents? Was the child inutero?? Did the parents think the “art” was part of the play equipment at the community center? Had the child been harmed – wonder who would be whistling Dixie for $$$ to pay for his injuries!? This kind of thing drives me nuts. Everyone is out for a piece of the action … in this case, a broken piece of “art” that could’ve been nothing more than a bent spoon but was insured! How does one insure a one of a kind item? What market value does such an object even have? ANY? Maybe if the kid made his OWN piece of art, and offered it in replacement, everyone would be happy! It’s not like it was a Rembrandt. Or Picasso. Or, off the set of Sesame Street!

There are two primary ways to view this…

  1. someone broke something at the community center, and that someone should and is responsible for fixing/replacing it.
  2. The item in question was broken by accident and the responsible party should not be held responsible for any number of reasons.

I get both sides of this…I have more of an issue with 1) the kid being unsupervised and 2) if the piece was that fragile, why not have a rope around it or otherwise secure it better.

This is what insurance is for IMO.

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A spokesman for the city of Overland Park said it had filed a claim with Travelers, its insurance company.

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Who? The parents or the venue? The venue has it and their insurer is trying to recover its payout from the parents. As noted earlier, if the parents do have cover, then their insurer will slug it out with the venue’s insurer.

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And I for one believe that would be a wonderful thing.

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This seems ripe for future abuse if the community center isn’t held liable for not securing the art.

  1. Set up precarious art on pedestal where children can easily reach it.
  2. Wait for parents to bring children to the venue.
  3. Watch children predictably knock it over.
  4. Profit!

I’m not defending the parenting skills of the parents. I hate watching kids run amok, but this just seems like a likelihood the community center should have anticipated. If the kid had to dodge a security guard (you know, to secure the super expensive art - or is it not really that expensive?) and climb over a rope to get to the art, they’d have a better argument against the family.

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