The Josh Hancock tragedy: who to sue?
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock was recently killed in a tragic automobile accident. You probably saw the story. Now, his father has (yeah, here comes the stunner) filed a lawsuit.
Suit claims restaurant kept giving intoxicated pitcher drinks
Updated: May 24, 2007, 4:14 PM ETST. LOUIS — 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.
The suit, filed in St. Louis Circuit Court by Dean Hancock of Tupelo, Miss., does not specify damages. Mike Shannon’s Restaurant, owned by the longtime Cardinals broadcaster who starred on three World Series teams in the 1960s, is a defendant in the case along with Shannon’s daughter, Patricia Shannon Van Matre, the restaurant manager. (Story.)
So, let’s make sure we have the scorebook right here. At the time he ran into a stopped tow truck, Hancock:
- was speeding, doing 68 in a 55 mph zone;
- was drunk, with a blood-alcohol level nearly twice Missouri’s legal limit of 0.08;
- was on his way to another bar;
- was talking on his cell phone;
- was not wearing a seat belt;
- had 8.55 grams of marijuana in the vehicle.
Reports indicate that he never even tried to stop.
According to the suit filed by Hancock’s father, the following people were responsible:
- the restaurant owner;
- the restaurant’s manager;
- Eddie’s Towing;
- Jacob Hargrove, the tow truck driver;
- Justin Tolar, the driver whose stalled car on Interstate 64 was being assisted by Hargrove.
Those not responsible include:
- the Cardinals
- Major League Baseball
And, of course, Josh Hancock.
Sometimes the facts of a story sort of eliminate the need for editorial comment.