Insurer Seeks Repayment from Parents of Vt. Teen Who Took Hostage

July 16, 2007

An insurance company that paid workers’ compensation to a bank employee traumatized in a Thetford, Vermont hostage-taking incident is seeking to recover the money from the family of the teenager charged in the incident.

Dan Eaton, 16, is serving a three-to-10-year sentence at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield after pleading guilty in February two charges of unlawful restraint and one charge of using a weapon in a felony.

Now Guard Insurance Group of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., is dunning Eaton’s parents for the $6,700 it paid to bank employee Sherry Crossley.

“Based on our investigation, negligence on your part appears to have potentially either caused or contributed to the injury suffered by the claimant,” the company said in a letter to the Eaton family.

Dan Eaton took Crossley and co-worker Clyde Berry hostage for three hours last August in an incident he later said was a plea for help with his mental health problems.

Julia Eaton, Dan Eaton’s mother, said she and her husband had done all they could for their son, including getting counseling at a mental health center.

“We don’t feel like we were negligent,” Julia Eaton sid. “We had our son going to what we thought was a competent mental health service.”

No suit has been filed as yet.

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