Family of Vermont Trooper Killed in 2003 Gets $4.5M From State’s Insurer

The family of a Vermont State Police trooper killed while trying to stop a fleeing suspect a decade ago has received a $4.5 million settlement from the state and its insurance carrier.

Washington County Superior Court Judge Robert Bent last week approved a settlement for the widow and three children of Sgt. Michael Johnson.

Johnson was killed June 15, 2003 after he was hit by a fleeing car driven by Eric Daley of Lebanon, N.H., who had swerved to avoid spike strips placed across the interstate by Johnson. Daley fled on foot and was later captured in the woods.

Daley, now 33, is serving a 26-to-33-year prison sentence for gross negligent operation of a vehicle.

The settlement with the Johnsons’ lawyer was reached between the private insurance carrier representing Vermont and the state attorney general’s office in recent days.

“They made the ultimate sacrifice a family can make — their father was killed in the line of duty,” said John Campbell, the attorney for the Johnson family, who also serves as Vermont Senate President Pro Tempore.

The state’s part in the negotiation has been minimal, Assistant Vermont Attorney General Keith Aten told the Valley News. [The Valley News reports the insurance carrier offering the settlement is Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, an affiliate of American International Group Inc.]

“It closes the matter and the kids get a great settlement,” he said.

The attorney for the insurance company could not be reached for comment.