The Rant: Hancock Family Lawsuit the True Tragedy

As if the story of deceased Cardinal pitcher Josh Hancock wasn’t tragic enough, it appears the Hancock family is determined to make it worse. Hancock of course was the Cardinal reliever who drove a rental SUV into the back of a tow truck on Highway 40 in St. Louis killing himself but luckily injuring no one else. It was later revealed that Hancock had a blood alcohol level of nearly twice the legal limit, was speeding, and was using his cell phone at the time of the crash.

Now, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Hancock’s family is suing the restaurant that Hancock was leaving, as well as the towing company, the tow truck driver, and the motorist being assisted by the tow truck. The suit alleges

"The restaurant, operated by Cardinals broadcaster and onetime player Mike Shannon, seeks patronage of sports celebrities who become drunk there. It alleges that Hancock ‘regularly became visibly intoxicated’  at Shannon’s and that, ‘The intoxication of Joshua Morgan Hancock on said occasion was involuntary."

I’m sorry… WHAT? The intoxication was involuntary? As in one of the defendants named in the suit forced Hancock to get drunk? Now don’t get me wrong, I think restaurants and bars do share some responsibility to not over serve their patrons. The restaurant’s manager reportedly offered the pitcher a cab ride home but was told he was only heading a couple of blocks down the street. Obviously having not been there I have no idea whether they over served him or not.

That being said, this law suit might be the most telling event of this whole tragic episode. How does one get involuntarily drunk? More importantly, how in the **** do you decide to sue the tow truck company, driver, and motorist? I mean what are you saying to these people – You shouldn’t have clipped the median (apparently after another driver cut him off) and been stuck on the road that my idiot son was going to be speeding down drunk and on the phone? Get a CLUE!

I’d like to think that this is simply a grief stricken family lashing out, perhaps on some bad legal advice. However, as I said earlier, I think it gives us a glimpse into Hancock’s life. The young man made the worst possible choice at the worst possible time. He killed himself and was fortunate not to have killed other innocent people. But rather than apologizing to the victims and the community for their son’s idiotic and criminal activity, the family sues everyone in sight. I’m surprised they didn’t name the St. Louis Cardinals and maybe even Anheuser Busch in the suit as well!

You see, according to Hancock’s family and their lawsuit, it was everyone else’s fault. The blame does not belong to their son. No, no, certainly not. The bartender shouldn’t have served him, the motorist shouldn’t have gotten cut off, and the tow truck shouldn’t have stopped to help him (even though the truck’s flashing lights and heavy frame likely saved the motorist’s life in this case).

Now maybe I’m reading too much into this but it certainly seems to me that by blaming everyone else, the family is trying to make excuses their son’s actions. If they are unwilling to blame their son in this case, where he is so obviously the one at fault, chances are that they’ve never held him accountable for his actions. "Oh, you drove drunk son? It’s not your fault. You put everyone on the road that night in danger? That bar shouldn’t have served you. You ran into a truck and ended your young life? Someone has got to pay because it couldn’t have been your fault."

I’m sorry, Hancock family, when your son decided to put the key into the ignition and drive off even though he was drunk, he alone was responsible for his actions. Those actions and your son’s subsequent death were unfortunate and saddening. This lawsuit, the logic behind it, and the message it sends, however, are truly tragic.

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10 comments

  1. cleeshay@gmail.com

    Totally ridiculous. Only in America.

    I hope they spend a lot of money going to court and LOSE, because that’s what they deserve for trying to drag other people down for something that was a freely made choice of their son, to drink and drive.

  2. rcfriedel@yahoo.com

    I also hope they lose in court! I can’t believe some idiot lawyer took this case. If you want to add up all the people responsible for Hancock’s death, it stops at ONE. It was him and only him. Like **** his intoxication was involuntary.

  3. RumorMill

    Actually, I’d imagine the idiot lawyer probably talked them into this case, although I have no real evidence. There’s always going to be a lawyer that’s willing to take a case like this. They get their name printed, their faces on TV, and if they win (or settle) they get a cut. And really, there’s no risk involved other than their time, people expect lawyers to be sleezy so their not tarnishing their image or anything.

  4. hbob49@fidmail.com

    If Josh had not been a baseball player.
    The story would have read drunk runs into back of disabled car on high way almost killing driver of the truck, not only was the man drunk but there where indications of drug use and to make it worst he was on the cell phone.

    All I can say is I’m sad for the jerk family of the baseball player.

    Had this been Joe Blow driving the SUV and he had run into the back of Josh Mothers car there would been lawsuits out the wing wang.

    these people have one thing on their mind (how much can we still cash in on our drunk son Josh).

    I think they should be the ones sue’d.

    And they should be forced to turn over all josh boys earnings to pay for all the damages he caused as a drunk driver and now I feel much safer on the road with one less drunk to deal with.

  5. buzzm55@aol.com

    But that is the way our litagous country is leaning. It is *always* someone elses fault and our court systems continually are jammed with nonsense like this. It is tragic that a young Josh was killed but in no sense is this anyone else’s fault but Josh’s himself. Didn’t they find marijuana in the car as well or a bong?

    Until civil liberty groups stop their PC rubbish of not holding the right people accountable in these types of situations, this garbage will continue.

    Shame on Hancock’s family. They make a mockery of DWI laws and true victims of this selfish crime.

  6. agcasebeer@bellsouth.net

    Yes, the club should have cut Hancock off, and I hope they are retraining their servers. However, Hancock was adult enough to earn a living as a major league pitcher. He should have cut himself off. When I am driving, I never have more than 1 drink or beer, and I have it before the meal (so it may process). Hancock screwed up, and we’re all fortunate nobody else died for it. It’s a shame, but he made a mistake and paid the ultimate price. Perhaps others, after his example, won’t make the same mistake.

  7. trobertson62@aol.com

    This is 100% totally ridiculous! I am appalled that this is even something a sleeze bag lawyer would take. I think that each and every party – including the Cardinals – should file a suit against his estate – hey – why not everyone that was one the road that night file one for endangerment? These seem more credible to me that poor family’s ******** suit. Don’t you know that daddy kept that poor boy nearly drained dry of money? I will bet they bummed off him on a daily/weekly basis. So **** SAD!

  8. hancock_32@yahoo.com

    okay, i know this was a couple years ago, but this eats me alive every time i come across an idiot not knowing what the hell they are talking about. you don’t know the whole story. im joshs cousin. his BLOOD. his family. we ALL know josh made a terrible mistake and was solely responsible for his death. the lawsuit was a scare. uncle dean didn’t want his ex wife(who WOULD have tried to get money off of joshs death) to not be ABLE to. he started it, then dropped it. that way she couldn’t pick it up. josh made a terrible decision that night that hurt us terribly and we are at a loss every single day now because of it. regardless, josh was not what everyone made him out to be. he was a fun-loving, christian, loyal son friend brother and teammate. please try to have a little respect and don’t believe everything you read or hear.

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