The City of Rockford will pay the estate of fallen police Officer Jaimie Cox half a million dollars.
Rockford aldermen unanimously approved the settlement Monday as part of the city’s Self-Insured Retention policy.
“It’s meant if I’m in an auto accident with another driver and that driver who is at fault, does not have insurance to cover my damages, my insurance company would step in to make me whole,” said Legal Director Nicholas Meyer.
Eddie Patterson did not have car insurance at the time of the 2017 incident where Officer Cox lost his life. The estate of Jaimie Cox was able to file a claim for damages.
The Self-Insured Retention policy requires a payment of $500,000 and the insurance company pays the remainder of the request. In total, the estate of Jaimie Cox will receive $1 million in the settlement.
“If Mr. Patterson had insurance, the claim would’ve been against his insurance company,” said Meyer. “Because he didn’t have insurance, we have a policy that allows our employees be made whole in that instance.”
The funds will be taken from the city’s risk management fund but the claim was not planned for in the budget.
“We want to make sure that we protect the citizens of Rockford’s interest and their taxes,” said 14th Ward Alderman Joseph Chiarelli. “The advice we were given is that this is the best option to settle this case.”
Meyer says the settlement took some time as the city dealt with a few other items.
“For worker’s compensation, there was also a pension benefit that we had to work through. So we had a number of things we had to get through and then once we resolved those, we were able to focus on the uninsured motor vehicle portion of it.”