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

A mother says an insurance company wants her family to pay $177,000 after her five-year-old son accidentally knocked over a sculpture during a wedding reception.

Sarah Goodman said her family was attending a function at a community centre in Kansas, US, last month when the incident happened.

Security footage of the room where the sculpture was placed shows a boy approaching the expensive artwork, which did not appear to be barricaded in any way.

The child appeared to put momentarily his arms around the statue, then walk away.

The five-year-old boy can be seen placing his arms around the sculpture, while a group of adults sit nearby and chat. Source: City of Overland Park

It toppled to the ground, falling on top of the young boy who his mum said suffered minor injuries in the process.

Ms Goodman told local outlet KSHB she and her husband have since received a letter from an insurance company saying they were negligent for not monitoring their children and ordering them to pay US$132,000 (AU$177,000).

Moments later, the expensive art piece toppled to the ground, falling on top of the young boy. Source: City of Overland Park

She told the Kansas City Star she didn’t see the artwork hit the ground, but her son suffered minor injuries when it fell.

She added that the expensive piece was unprotected at the crowded Overland Park’s Tomahawk Ridge Community Center.

The $177,000 sculpture was not barricaded or roped off, the boy’s mother argued. Source: City of Overland Park

“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.

Ms Goodman says her children were well-supervised and she wasn’t negligent. She hopes her insurance company can resolve the issue.