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Denial Winner of the Year

May 29, 2007
Dean Hancock, father of recently killed, St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Josh Hancock wins the denial of the year award. Dean Hancock is obviously attempting to become the next Martin Archer-Shee. I understand he is grieving and I get the feeling that many people think he will come to his senses as time goes by, but I think he will see his lawsuits down to the bitter end. I am predicting that the lawsuits will become his life’s work. This is a moving trainwreck with a lot of track. I hope I am wrong.

“The father of Josh Hancock filed suit Thursday, claiming a restaurant provided drinks to the St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher even though he was intoxicated prior to the crash that killed him. Other defendants include Eddie’s Towing, the company whose flatbed tow truck was struck by Hancock’s sport utility vehicle in the early hours of April 29; tow truck driver Jacob Edward Hargrove; and Justin Tolar, the driver whose stalled car on Interstate 64 was being assisted by Hargrove. Authorities said the 29-year pitcher had a blood alcohol content of nearly twice the legal limit when he crashed into the back of the tow truck. He was also speeding and using a cell phone and wasn’t wearing a seat belt, police chief Joe Mokwa said after the accident. Marijuana was also found in the SUV.”

The story of that night’s events reads like a hyperbolic series of and, plus, in addition to and too. An example of all things one can possibly do to guarantee self-destruction. Yet the father is assigning blame everywhere else but to his son. Not saying blame is necessary but it becomes plausible after this stunt. Maybe because if he has to look at his son’s behavior he will then have to look at himself, the whole apple does not fall far from the tree analysis.

I have never understood how alcohol is sold legally in restaurants and bars but then the restaurants and bars are responsible for the patrons who willingly consent to buying that alcohol. If this logic were being applied to a rape victim, consent would be understood if she was twice the legal limit or not. We all know the drunkard slut…oh never mind. Nevertheless, for some macho can drink anyone under the table logic, everyone else is expected to be responsible. What is Dean Hancock implying with his lawsuits? That his son Josh Hancock did not consent to drink the alcohol that he paid for, that he did not consent to drive his SUV after drinking for three and half hours and after the restaurant manager told him more than once that she had called a taxi for him. Was his speeding consensual? Was his decision to talk on the cell phone while he was speeding while he was drunk while he was not wearing his seatbelt not consensual? Did he consent to having marijuana in his SUV?

Will Dean Hancock sue the person Josh Hancock was on the cell phone with? Or the cell phone company for not making a phone that could control Hancock’s drunk driving? Will he sue the earth for rotating away from the sun at the time causing the road to become dark and undrunk-driving friendly?

Hancock’s lawyers have even said that others could be added later as defendants in the suit. Maybe even the Cardinals. Maybe, because if the Cardinals had let him be the starter pitcher instead of the relief pitcher then perhaps his son would not have been drinking in the first place. Any line of reasoning is possible at this point.

I believe in compensating individuals for conditions in society and actions or inactions of others that wrongly affect those individuals, especially after a pattern has been noted and it becomes obvious there is indifference and willful neglect. However, I also believe in personal responsibility. No rapist was waiting for Josh Hancock to stumble home, no one robbed him because he was drunk, no one walked him to his SUV and started his ignition. Josh Hancock triggered that night’s event when he took his first sip of alcohol with no plan of action for his trip home.

As sad as this man’s death is and as much as I understand that his father is overwhelmed with grief, this case ranks among the most frivolous lawsuits to get media attention in some time and does nothing but chip away the possibility of justice for the next person who has been truly wronged.

We live in a very privileged country when a case such as this is taken seriously.

One Comment
  1. Professor Zero permalink
    May 29, 2007 5:45 pm

    I hope this lawyer is on contingency, not on retainer.

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