Ivan Chermayeff

's 10-feet-tall number nine sculpture has been a midtown icon for over three decades, appearing in feature films, TV shows, and Sesame Street (watch below). But while the red steel digit may seem like a colorful visual homage to John Lennon's favorite number (or something), this playful piece of sidewalk art is anything but harmless—as one 3-year-old boy allegedly found out the hard way.


The Post reports
that little Kyle Lo and his mother were strolling by the nine during their visit from San Francisco when Kyle somehow sustained a "massive" gash on his skull. This happened back in 2009, but we're just hearing about it now because Kyle's mom, Lynn, is suing the management of the building at 9 West 57th Street. Her lawyer thinks the building owner is liable for injuries caused by the sculpture, which children routinely use as a jungle gym.

Lynn Lo insists her son wasn't even climbing on the nine, and got cut only because he brushed up against it. "My son was hurt, bleeding, and the guard was scolding me, asking why my son was jumping around [near the 9]!" she tells the Post. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, and at press time it was unclear whether this was an isolated incident, or if other litigious parents will come forward with nine-related horror stories. But maybe we should just be glad Chermayeff didn't go with his original idea for a giant number 4 made out of razor blades.