Friday, May 25, 2007

Please Make An Example Of This Guy

St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Josh Hancock was killed in an auto accident on April 29. Sad times all around for the Cardinal franchise, Major League Baseball, and of course the friends and family. Further investigation revelaed that Hancock was intoxicated when he smashed into a staionary tow truck and broken down vehicle on I-64, and he died almost instantly.

There's more - from the story on KMOV.com:
Authorities said the 29-year pitcher had a blood content of nearly twice
the legal limit for alcohol in his system when he crashed into the back of the
tow truck. He was also speeding, using a cell phone and wasn't wearing a seat
belt, Police Chief Joe Mokwa said after the accident. Marijuana also was found
in the SUV.

What is the relevance of this post, then? Seems like a pretty clear cut case of one person being completely responsible for the actions which led directly to his death, right?

Wrong. His dad is suing just about everyone in sight.

I don't know what's more disturbing: the fact that such an obviously frivolous lawsuit would even be presented, or the fact that Mr. Hancock seemingly cannot accept the fact that his son did some pretty stupid things which ended up killing him. Seems that Josh was a pretty habitual drinker, which is by no means uncommon for someone his age. It's likely that he could pound down several drinks and not appear drunk - yet the suit names the restaurant (ironically owned by Cardinal broadcaster Mike Shannon) as liable for feeding him booze. Plus, he had weed in the car, was using a cell phone at the time of the crash, and wasn't wearing a seatbelt - all items that are clearly the reponsibilty of the driver.

Dean Hancock's suit also names the tow truck company, since the truck didn't so a good job of avoiding being drilled by Josh's car, apparently. It is unclear whether God has been named for making it dark at the time of the accident.

I can understand being distraught over losing a child - there is no greater tragedy than a parent outliving any of his or her offspring. This, however, is one of the most egregious examples of how screwed up our legal system is. This wouldn't go forward at all unless there were lawyers willing to present it, knowing that if they throw enough things at the wall something will eventually stick. Doesn't personal responsibilty mean anything to anyone? Josh Hancock was completely and totally resposible for his own death. Who is to say that if he didn't crash into the tow truck he wouldn't have hit something else?

It's going to take a judicial system willing to penalize lawyers who specialize in garbage lawsuits like this before this practice goes away once and for all. It's high time a judge stood up and made an example out of someone who would have the audacity to bring a lawsuit like this.

Let's start with this guy.
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