When Really Rich People Do Really Stupid Things

"When Really Rich People Do Really Stupid Things”, published in Forbes Magazine10/10/2011 by Steven Bertoni

The Rube Goldberg Claim

A $50,000,000+ painting fell off the wall onto a $4,000,000 18 th century chest of drawers, cracking the marble top. As the painting fell, it knocked a $6,000,000 Rodin bronze and a pair of 18 th century porcelain candelabras onto the floor. The arm of the Rodin broke off, piercing a $1,000,000 carpet and denting the floor beneath. Lesson: Position expensive contents more wisely.

Brush Stroke

A very large painting hanging in a dining room had unusual and unexplained wear in the lower-right corner. It turns out that the family’s St. Bernard would run behind the table, brush up against the painting, and run out again – about 20 times a day.

Deep Fried

His family was away on a trip, a tycoon decided to cook a single chicken breast – in a deep fryer designed to cook whole turkeys. He set up the deep fryer in his basement, dropped the chicken breast in and then left to walk the dog while it was cooking. The deep fryer bubbled over, sparked a fire and led to a $1,000,000+ loss.

Fire and Rain

A man, attempting to dry the rear floor mat of his Porsche, positioned a leaf blower on the seat, aiming it at the floor. Throughout the morning he would check in periodically to determine if the mat was dry. At one point he heard a noise from the garage and went to investigate. He discovered that he had set the rear passenger mat and seat on fire.

Windex is for Windows

At a party one chilly evening the staff of the host decided to light a fire for the guests. No one checked to see if the flue was open. The room filled with smoke and soot. One of the staff members, perhaps embarassed by the fireplace error, quickly went to work on the room and tried to clean a painting over the mantel … with a rag and some Windex.

Melting Away in the Heat

An original painting by Andy Warhol was hung above a fireplace. The painting eventually melted, resulting in a mulimillion-dollar claim.

The Brick and the Bentley

The Owner of a vintage Bentley Continental was unable to start the car after not driving it for several months. But with an alternative battery, he managed to get it started and parked it in his driveway. He figured the fastest way to charge the battery would be to keep the engine running at high rpm. To do this, he put a brick on the gas pedal, which would rev the engine to its redline limits. He left it like that and went inside to take a shower. He returned 20 minutes later, the overheated engine had seized and oil was spewing. The car was totaled, all while sitting in the driveway.