May 29, 2007
Not Far Enough
May 29, 2007
Mr. Keith Kantack, Esq.
Dear Mr. Kantack:
I have read with interest the news stories regarding the lawsuit you have filed on behalf of Dean Hancock, father of the late Josh Hancock, the St. Louis Cardinals pitcher. All I can say is: bully for you! I am writing to applaud your actions, but also to politely suggest that you have not gone far enough, not nearly far enough, in assigning blame for Mr. Hancock's demise.
Suing the restaurant where he was served is certainly a good start. The towing company and the driver of the disabled vehicle? Slam dunks. (I have often said that people in broken-down vehicles and the service trucks that go their rescue are one of this nation's greatest menaces. It is my hope that your case brings this incredible hazard out in the open by means of the hot-lit glare of a civil trial.) The nerve of that motorist allowing themselves to be cut off like that! Shameful and irresponsible.
I beg you, though, Mr. Kantack: please do not stop with just these defendants! They are merely links in a long chain of responsible parties from whom the full measure of retribution must be exacted.
Let's start with the beverages imbibed by the deceased. Certainly they didn't spring into existence without any help? Yes, they were purveyed by Mike Shannon's restaurant, but how did they get there? That's right: a driver brought them. Sue him. Sue the manufacturer of the truck that delivered the alcohol to Shannon's place (not to mention the manufacturers of the vehicles belonging to Hancock, the disabled driver and the tow truck). What were they thinking when they made these conveyances? Naturally, the company that created the adult beverage that mysteriously found its way into the son of your client must also be taken to legal task. (I would also suggest you find a way to sue the descendants of the elected officials responsible for repealing the 18th Amendment.)
And where were the other patrons of Shannon's when Mr. Hancock was allowed to leave the establishment in no condition to drive? What is their role in this? Innocent bystanders? I think not. One or more of them should have physically restrained Mr. Hancock and forced his keys from him. I would advise that you get your staff to assemble as complete a list of patrons as possible from that night, using credit card receipts as a starting point, and add them to your roster of the responsible.
Regarding the marijuana that was found in Mr. Hancock's vehicle after the crash: where did it come from? I believe that an expert could, after rigorous testing, tell you the origin of the drug. If it is from Mexico, say, then the government of that nation should be added to your list of targets. If it is imported, where was our government in the interdiction process? Clearly out to lunch. Put the DEA on your hit list as well. If the drugs were grown locally, then you must direct your attentions at local law enforcement who have clearly failed to keep illegal drugs out of the cars of motorists.
And what of the cell phone on which Mr. Hancock was speaking at the time of his demise? What is its culpability in all this? Well, for one thing, why was it not equipped with a sensor that could detect the user was intoxicated? This is clearly negligence on the manufacturer's part. Such a sensor could send a signal to a transponder in the starter of the owner's vehicle and not allow it to engage. The problem here is obvious: cell phone and vehicle manufacturers are so focused on profits that they forget about people. They should be made to pay for their negligence in a court of law.
Why was the street not lit better so that the late Mr. Hancock could see what was ahead? Was it a case of not enough lighting in the area? If so, then it is the Missouri Department of Transportation that must taste the wrath of your sword of justice. If lighting was in place but was faulty, then the manufacturer of said lighting must pay as well.
And lastly, why are you letting the St. Louis Cardinals off the hook so easily? How are they not to blame? After all, it was they who gave Mr. Hancock a position on their team--a position that allowed him to gain a feeling of invincibility that certainly contributed to his doom. If Mr. Hancock were a common laborer, would he have felt this same sense of entitlement to a good time and an accompanying belief that the actions of scores of negligent people could never be the cause of his undoing? Of course not. If he had only been allowed to be humbled by rejection from that organization, or the Red Sox, Phillies and Reds before them (note: attach them as well), then he would be alive today.
I seek no thanks from you, Mr. Kantack, and desire no credit for these suggestions. My satisfaction will come from the knowledge that justice is done; that everyone who is culpable is made bankrupt via damages and legal fees and that you and your client will be well compensated. You are doing a noble thing, Mr. Kantack. Godspeed!