The ‘you-break-it-you-buy-it’ rule may be every parent’s worst nightmare but it’s one that could be about to come true for a US mother after her son knocked over an incredibly expensive sculpture.

Sarah Goodman was attending a wedding reception at a Kansas community centre when her five-year-old attempted to hug a mosaic bust but accidentally brought the artwork toppling down.

Fast-forward a few weeks and Goodman’s family received a letter from the community centre’s insurance company, informing them that they’re liable for the damage – all US$132,000 (AU$177K) of it.

“It’s clear accidents happen and this was an accident,” Goodman told local news outlet, the Kansas City Star. “I don’t want to diminish the value of their art but I can’t pay for that.”

The centre’s insurance firm suggested Goodman and her husband were not supervising their son closely enough and their “failure to monitor [the child] during this loss could be considered negligent.”

However, the family disagreed and said the valuable sculpture should have been better protected or displayed in a more appropriate area.

“It’s in the main walkway – not a separate room, not plexiglass, not protected, not held down,” said Goodman. “No-one would ever to expect that – to come into a place that kids are invited and have to worry about a US$132,000 piece of art falling on their child.”

A spokesman for Overland Park City said the city filed a claim with their insurance company, which then contacted the Goodman family.

“It will be up to the insurance companies to get this worked out,” he said.


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