N.J. jury: stuffed animal partial cause of accident

The estate of a New Jersey woman injured by a car has been awarded damages after a jury determined that a stuffed animal hanging from the driver’s rearview mirror contributed to the accident.

The Times of Trenton reports the jury awarded Ellen Henkle’s estate $378,000 on Monday after finding that the driver that struck her was negligent, in part, due to a Garfield stuffed animal blocking his vision.

Henkle, who lived in Hamilton and was 52 at the time of the accident, required multiple surgeries and was disabled from the March 9, 2006 crash.

She died four years later of natural causes.

Hamilton resident Thomas Hill struck Henkle with his vehicle while making a lane change.

The jury also awarded $95,000 to Henkle’s husband.

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