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Sports Rule

Is there anything else???

This pisses me off!

May 25, 2007 — Basic back story: Professional baseball player is killed in auto accident. Turns out he was drunk and slammed his car into a tow truck that was assisting a stalled vehicle. And had been involved with a drunk driving incident a couple days prior.

Now, the father is suing the restaurant that served him, as well as the towing company and the stalled driver!!! Am I missing something here?

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.


No, none of that was the cause of this guy dying. It was the stalled car and the tow truck driver who decided to lend a hand.

Dylan says:

Currently there's no real penalty for suing someone for some totally ridiculous claim. If that were changed so that by default, the person suing were liable for all fees for both parties if they lose, then I think we'd see a drastic reduction in the number of stupid lawsuits like this. This would make it hard for the little guy to sue the big guy, so I think it would have to be "by default" and then up to the judge whether it's upheld.

lidge_34 says:

I think you have to protect an individual's ability to bring a lawsuit when they have been truly wronged, but at the same time bring up the standards of what is a legit wrong doing. Maybe something like what you said but only if the judge throws it out as frivolous or something like that.

I could maybe understand a lawsuit against the restaurant if they were giving him drinks long after he was drunk, but the other two? And even in the case of the restaurant, lets be real about this. Drunk is drunk. Had they cut him off, he still would have left the place drunk and probably still would have gotten in his car. So yeah, maybe they should have cut him off, but to say that they are responsible for his death is crazy. It's all on him.

Maybe it should be the other way around--the drivers of the tow truck and the stalled car should sue the family of this pitcher for damages since his drunk driving destroyed their cars. I mean, doesn't that seem more sane than the other way around?

ss13 says:

I feel you are not taking into account or even considering that this man LOST HIS SON, well before his time. That is nothing that I wish upon myself or any man. For us to be judging him and his actions, I consider to be pretentious and high-handed.

He is trying to find an answer, no matter how wrong he is, for his son's death that doesn't shame his name.

Let's be a little bit warm-hearted, or if that is too much, atleast consider the whole circumstance. This is not to justify that what he did may be rash and not completely logical, but to not even mention or bring up the fact that he did actually lose his son is cold.

Now, I'm not saying this can't turn into a debate/discussion about lawsuits and the validity of them, but bringing up this specific antidote and calling a grieving father "crazy" is not correct.

lidge_34 says:

I completely disagree. Obviously the guy lost his son tragically, and is trying to find closure. But you can't ignore the effect that his actions will have on those being unnecessarily being sued. The time and money they are all going to lose, not to mention the court's time, isn't going to do anything to bring closure.

If every grieving parent tried to sue a bunch of people who had no responsibility in the death, we would have chaos, and the court systems would be bogged down. What I am saying here is A) the judge should throw this out immediately, and B) the father who filed suit should have to pay the defendant's court and lawyer fees. Is it fair that they should have to pay? I don't think so!

BTW, I never said that he is crazy, just that his actions were crazy.

ss13 says:

No, you are missing the point. He did have clear points in each case. They weren't arbitrarily chosen as you make them out to be.

They may not be winning arguments, but they are arguments. If we get to the point in trail law where a plaintiff is guilty (or crazy) before he even shows his evidence, the integrity and what our justice system stands for is diminished.

He claims that the tow truck didn't have ANY lights on and wasn't falling any proper protocol. You presenting it like he is heroic for "assisting" a man on the side of a highway - heroic like a waitress bringing food to your table.

In addition, to make your "big splash" you omitted more essential points:

However, toxicology tests reportedly showed that only alcohol was found in Hancock's system when he passed away.



“It’s understood that for the entire 3 1/2 hours that Josh Hancock was there that he was handed drinks,” Keith Kantack, a lawyer for Dean Hancock, said. “It’s our understanding that from the moment Josh Hancock entered Mike Shannon’s that night that he was never without a drink.”


I understand, lidge_34, it's very easy to go along with the flow of the media and go with the "how dare he abuse the legal system" and "this is so frivolous", and use the media's tactics of only quoting the parts of the story that make your case. It's easy to not look at the big picture and to not see the effects of what could turn into a slippery slope IF cases were viewed the way you viewed them in the opening post.

Also, if Josh Hancock were still alive, he might be facing SOME penalty for his actions, but clearly he can't and responsibility rests on other shoulders as well. Clearly, the statement of his family facing charges is wrong-headed and ignorant and won't be taken up further.

In addition, I would be scared to have you or members of the media be the judge in this case. Who, as a matter of fact, can label the case as frivolous. A precedent set in Crain v. Commissioner in the Fifth Circuit of the Court of Appeals:


The government asks us to assess penalties against Crain for bringing this frivolous appeal, as is authorized by Fed. R. App. P. 38. In Parker v. C. I. R., 724 F. 2d 469, 472 (5th Cir. 1984), we sounded "a cautionary note to those who would persistently raise arguments against the income tax which have been put to rest for years. The full range of sanctions in Rule 38 hereafter shall be summoned in response to a totally frivolous appeal.....

Accordingly, we grant the government's request. The United States shall recover from appellant Crain twice its cost of this appeal. Additionally, we assess against Crain a damage award of $2000 in favor of the appellee United States.


But this IS only after the due process of the law, not just "throw[n] out immediately".

And, I will almost guarantee that this case WILL NOT be thrown out by the judge and likely the findings will be in the favor of Mr. Hancock.

lidge_34 says:

We have a lawyer on our hands!

I understand, lidge_34, it's very easy to go along with the flow of the media and go with the "how dare he abuse the legal system" and "this is so frivolous", and use the media's tactics of only quoting the parts of the story that make your case.


Did you read the same article I read? Because that's not the idea I got from reading it. I probably follow sports more than anybody else in this forum, so without really wanting to, I have seen or read basically every detail of how he died, what other circumstances there were beforehand, etc. It was pretty obvious to me before I ever read this story that this was a guy who had an alcohol problem and drove his car while completely drunk, thus endangering the lives of himself and others. So when I saw a report about his father filing suit and claiming that others were responsible for the death, I almost went ballistic. And BTW, you know as well as I do that in a case like this, the media almost always sides with the victim's family. So cut with the crap about me blindly following the media. And it isn't as if you quoted anything that didn't suit your case.

You presenting it like he is heroic for "assisting" a man on the side of a highway - heroic like a waitress bringing food to your table.


If you read, he was off duty and happened upon the stalled car. He had no duty to stop. Was it heroic? I never said that, but it was a nice gesture that shouldn't be punished. Let's say it was a guy in a pick-up truck who pulled over to help out and didn't have all the flashing lights?

Only alcohol? Yeah, twice the legal limit. My whole point on this matter is that you can forget about every other incidental, because if he hadn't gotten into his car after getting wasted, none of it would have happened.

Clearly, the statement of his family facing charges is wrong-headed and ignorant and won't be taken up further.


Uh, no. I'm simply making the point that when you look at the scale of who is most responsible for this, you can't really argue that any of these defendants were more responsible than the driver himself. Do I think the family should be sued? No. I don't think anybody should be sued. Hancock's insurance should pay for whatever damages were caused to the tow truck and stalled car, plus any medical costs incurred, and that should be the end of it. Obviously I'm not a judge or a lawyer, but that's my humble opinion.

Also, I'm not against this going before the judge. But I do think the judge should have the ability to make a ruling saying it is frivolous, and then the guy should have to pay. If the judge rules that there is merit to the case, than so be it. This from my reply to Dylan:

I think you have to protect an individual's ability to bring a lawsuit when they have been truly wronged, but at the same time bring up the standards of what is a legit wrong doing. Maybe something like what you said but only if the judge throws it out as frivolous or something like that.


Shoot me down.

lidge_34 says:

BTW, what exactly is his case against the stalled driver?

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