The family of a New Jersey woman who died because of injuries sustained in a car accident was awarded almost half a million dollars. The accident was blamed on Garfield the cat.
The jury determined the driver was negligent, in part, due to a Garfield stuffed animal hanging from a rearview mirror and blocking his vision.
The jury found that Thomas Hill of Hamilton, operated his 1998 black Ford Mustang negligently at the time of the crash. Hill was driving eastbound on Nottingham Way in the left lane and made a lane change into the right lane, where his car hit Ellen Henkle as she was crossing. “Plaintiff argued that the stuffed animal was a distraction, an obstruction, in violation of law requiring unobstructed windshield,” said Dennis Brotman, an attorney at Lawrence-based Fox Rothschild.
The woman, then 52, required multiple surgeries and was disabled until her death, four years later, of natural causes. In addition to the $378,000 verdict, the jury awarded $95,000 to her husband, who took care of the disabled woman after the crash.
It might be time to take down the fuzzy dice, fellas.