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Thursday, August 4, 2022

Liability law suit - Sculptor sued by his son ! - பீரங்கியால் நீ வெல்லாததும், உன் பேரன்பினால் .. .. ...

 வீர விநாயக,  வெற்றி விநாயக,  சக்தி விநாயக,  பேரழகா

தீரா சந்தோஷமும் தித்திக்கும் வாா்த்தையும் எத்திக்கும் தோன்றிட வேணுமய்யா!! 

.. .. ……

பீரங்கியால் நீ வெல்லாததும், உன் பேரன்பினால் அட கை கூடுமே
தாராளமா நீ நேசம் வெச்ச அட தாறு மாறா மனம் கூத்தாடுமே
சீறி பாக்கும் ஆளு முன்னே.. சிாிச்சு பாரு மாறிடுவான் .. .. ..


The Ajith starrer song says - instead of stare - smile, and with your affection a potential conflict could be resolved easily !! .  In a Nation obsessed with tiny adjustments (you get into a local train, in seat meant for 4 there are already 6 - another one comes running and gasping for breath, says, please adjust and .. .. you find another 2 somehow sitting together!) .. .. there are angry skirmishes, but there are many situations too, when people kindly adjust and life moves on - in such a society, concept of Legal  Liability may not be fully understood, nor would there such law suits! 

Laurence Broderick is a renowned sculptor specialising in figurative carvings in stone and castings in bronze, often with a nature theme. His best known work is 'The Bull', a public sculpture erected in 2003 at the Bullring shopping centre, Birmingham, which has been named one of the world's top ten public artworks. 


‘Liability’ (n) is  one of the most significant words in the field of law, and a complex subject in Insurance. Liability means legal responsibility for one's acts or omissions. Any loss or damage caused by a negligent act of a person / Firm exposes them to public liability and cost of litigation as also the cost of such liability suit will be covered in a liability insurance policy. 

One common example is the Act Policy [Third Party Liability policy] in Motor vehicle Insurance.  In India, as prescribed in the Motor Vehicles Act, every vehicle owner must have a policy covering the liability that might arise out of the use of the motor vehicle in a public place. Employers liability, also known as Workmen Compensation is another where the Employer has liability to their employees for death / injuries ‘arising out of and in the course of employment’.  The  liability related suits, other than those of motor accident victims  are not very high in India and there have not been many complex situations also as compared to some litigant practices in Western countries.  

Read in Mailonline about a strange law suit where, a Sculptor, 87, who created iconic Bull statue in Birmingham's shopping centre is sued for £5million by his sons after cutting them out of his will and leaving everything to the National Trust.  


The renowned sculptor who created the eponymous bull statue in Birmingham's Bull Ring has been locked in a bitter £5 million court battle with his sons after cutting them out of his will and leaving everything to the National Trust. One of Britain's top living artists, Laurence Broderick, 87, disinherited his sons Graeham and Roger after they blamed him for the death of their younger brother Ollie in 2019. The artist, who is best known for his six-ton bronze bull sculpture - named one of the world's top ten public artworks - also changed the locks on the family home so that neither sons could get in. 

The once tight-knit family had once worked together, with older son Graeham working alongside his father and mother to finish, market and sell Laurence's art. But grief ripped the family apart in 2018 when Laurence's wife Ingrid was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and the couple's youngest son Ollie died a year later. Ollie died aged 46, having suffered kidney failure from just nine months old. During his life, he had three kidney transplants, as well as dialysis while on the transplant waiting list. He died 'peacefully' in hospital in 2019. 

After Laurence was 'blamed' for Ollie's death by his other two sons, he cut them out of his life and froze Graeham out of the family business, London's High Court heard.  Graeham then sued his father, claiming he was owed up to £5 million by his parents because he had been an equal member of a business 'partnership' with his mother and father for 20 years. 

Strange are the ways of people - relations, kith and kin fighting for property (vaikkal varappau thagararu) is perhaps universal but there always is alternative means of settlement and the news paper reported further that the  father and son have now agreed a settlement, halting court proceedings. 

Graeham had claimed he was rightful owner of a one third share under that partnership of all 'partnership assets,' which he said included his father's artworks and valuable copyrights, plus properties in Bedfordshire and the Isle of Skye.  The case reached court with Graeham telling Judge David Halpern QC from the witness box that he was 'upset and disappointed' with his artist father, insisting 'we have been kind and decent sons'. Born in Bristol, Laurence visited the Isle of Skye in 1978 with his young family, where saw his first wild otter, the subject of many of his subsequent works.  After that, Skye became his second home and he held annual sculpture exhibitions on the island for 26 years. He now divides his time between studios on Skye and Waresley, in Bedfordshire.

Suing his father, Graeham told the judge that he had assisted with making the sculptures since 1991 and, from 1999 until the 'traumatic' falling out in 2019, was in a formal business partnership with his parents. He had worked up to 50 hours a week all year round, he said, with just three weeks off. 'I never thought I'd find myself in this situation. I trusted my parents,' he told the judge. David Parratt, counsel for Graeham, told the judge that the two properties his father uses as artist studios in Skye and Waresley are one third his son's property according to the rules of the partnership, along with the same share of his father's art and the profits of the art business up until 2019. Shining a light on the family breakdown, the barrister told the judge that Graham's evidence should be preferred to his father's. 'It is submitted that these are to be antagonistic, vengeful and spiteful and leave nothing of his assets and property to his two sons. His evidence should be treated with caution for that reason,' he told the judge. 

Graeham  went on to sue his father, claiming that he was owed up to £5 million by his parents because he had been an equal member of a business 'partnership' with his mother and father for 20 years. Damian Falkowski, for Laurence, asked him: 'You are aware that your father has changed his will to leave everything to the National Trust. You must be very angry about that. Has that anger coloured your thinking in relation to this partnership claim?'  Mr Falkowski argued that the artworks, studio properties and copyrights were not partnership property, but were part of Laurence's 'capital assets temporarily lent to the partnership'. He also denied there had been a partnership around his artworks involving his son. For Graeham to have become a 'joint author' of any of his father's work, he would have had to 'contribute substantially to the intellectual creation,' he added. 'It is not sufficient for him to do routine work which does not contribute to the intellectual creation, however arduous that may be and even if the work done is necessary in order that the sculptures could be sold as completed works of art,' said the barrister. 

The trial of the case was set to last four days but at the end of a half day hearing, with Roger poised to give evidence in support of Graeham, father and son agreed a settlement to bring the partnership clash to a premature halt. Details of the settlement were not made public. 

Perhaps the son and the aged father reached a settlement and adjusted each other on the monetary claim. 

With regards - S. Sampathkumar
4th Aug 2022

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