Cardinals' Announcer Sued In Hancock Death

Thursday, May 24, 2007



The Father of St. Louis Cardinals' Josh Hancock (Dean Hancock) is suing the restaurant/bar that provided the pitcher his drinks on the night of his death. The owner of the restaurant is longtime Cardinals' Announcer Mike Shannon....

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. 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.

"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."
Wow that's just about everyone you can sue, but the Cardinals. They are claiming negligence on the part of the Tow Truck driver for not removing the car fast enough, and the driver whose car broke down. It's really sad when things like this don't end well, but I guess there's no way that they really can.

While the Father probably has a case against the bar it's pretty bad when you can make money off someone who couldn't control their actions. It's a lose lose situation if you ask me.

Hancock's father sues over pitcher's death (USA Today)
Josh Hancock: 1979-2007 (Awful Announcing)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 4:14 PM

28 Comments:

Baseless, groundless, meritless.

May 24, 2007, 5:58:00 PM  

positivly aweful. the sad thing is you know the father is only suing for money. How about instead he sue for litigation fining establishments that sell alchol to intoxicated persons. maybe then I might have some ... a little bit of respect for the father. Also explain to me how a tow truck and a stalled vehicle are to blame for his son driving under the influence?? Is that not a choice a person must make... it's almost like saying drink drive.. it's okay.. you will not get in trouble.. we will sue the people you hit and the place that sold you alchol.

Not to sound aweful, but isn't it irronic that a druck driver kills himself and the family wants to blame eveyone else but.. the PERSON WHO WAS DRIVING DRUNK!!!

Anonymous said...
May 24, 2007, 8:23:00 PM  

Perhaps the dad should sue himself for passing on the alcoholism gene...what a pathetic attempt to collect money. With him as a dad no wonder the guy drank.

Mandy said...
May 24, 2007, 8:27:00 PM  

Give me a break...Why is somebody else always responsible when an IDIOT drives drunk, has pot in the car, no seatbelt on AND is on the cel phone...Heck, maybe it's the car mfgr's fault for not automatically buckleing the belt..or maybe it's the cel phone carrier's fault ...IT WAS AN ACCIDENT...GET OVER IT...it is NOT the bar's fault and certainly not The Card's fault...maybe somebody should sue the dad since he obviously didn't raise his son right as he was drinking and smoking pot...mmmmmmmmmm

Anonymous said...
May 24, 2007, 8:31:00 PM  

This is a terrible tragedy and I can understand how the father may be upset that the restaurant watched him leave drunk, but to sue the tow truck driver and the driver on the side of the road>>>>>>FRIVOLOUS>>>>>>>HOW are they responsible for that IDIOT driving drunk? Take responsibility for your actions and stop blaming everyone else you can find.

Anonymous said...
May 24, 2007, 8:57:00 PM  

Talk about lawsuit abuse. Comeon, this is rediculous.

Anonymous said...
May 24, 2007, 9:02:00 PM  

I am sorry for the family's loss of their son but NOBODY forced this man to drink excessively at the restaurant, forced him to get drunk and forced him to drive while intoxicated at a high rate of speed. What judge would even try this case? The father should be ashamed for bringing such wasted and bad publicity to this already sad situation

Anonymous said...
May 24, 2007, 9:05:00 PM  

Couldn't agree more. However, I tend to see this as Mr. Hancock attempting to reverse the swift turn of public perception surrounding Josh's death when it was revealed that he was drinking and had tweeds in the car.

Now, of course it doesn't make JH come off any better, knowing that someone else was feeding him drinks all night, and the blame still falls where it did before, but I guess I can kind of see how his father is rationalizing this. To me it doesn't come off as a "I need money" type of thing so much as a "I want my son's good image restored". Ironically, this isn't going to help a damn thing.

Bstone said...
May 24, 2007, 9:14:00 PM  

Good point BStone. I'm thinking this is the lawyers telling him to get the most out of the suit.

I would think it might work if it wasn't for the pot in the car. Also, for those unaware....Hancock also apparently missed a previous start that week because he was too hungover.

It's not going to end good....that's for sure.

May 24, 2007, 9:18:00 PM  

SO very tragic for the family, however, people need to be responsible for thier actions, even in death. WOuld he not have been responsible if someone was killed as a result of him driving drunk? Perhaps the fact that Daddy thought his son was perfect, now maybe there is the real problem, maybe he never had to be responsible for his own actions.

Anonymous said...
May 24, 2007, 9:24:00 PM  

This has to be the hardest thing that a parent has to go through, and they are more than likely very mad and angry. But instead of lashing out at anyone that was involved directly or indirectly the night that thier son went to a bar and drank and then got behind the wheel of a car all by himseld and was killed. They need to take some time and greave for their lose. They also need to be thankful that no one else was hurt or killed. Then they need to take on the law dealing with the amount served to customers in bars, and other establishments.

Anonymous said...
May 24, 2007, 9:36:00 PM  

You know, you think this situation couldnt have been sadder with the son dying. But, why is it that when there is no one at fault but the driver, the dad goes after all the people who touched him that night, making it even sadder? Did the driver of the stalled vehicle, the tow truck driver, or the bar owner hold him down when he got drunk and force the alcohol down his throat? No, he chose to drink as much as he did, and he drove by choice. The fact that he was on the cell phone talking when he crashed shows he could have called for a ride but he chose not to. The father just needs to accept the son died by his own actions, no one else's. He is just lucky no one else was killed in the accident his son caused or they may be suing his family. I bet he wouldnt like that too much. I am really sorry for his loss but I really hate it when people refuse to accept reality and to acknowledge responsibility.

Anonymous said...
May 24, 2007, 10:34:00 PM  

Drive Drunk, Die Drunk. Father has only himself to blame, if anyone, for the morals he failed to teach his son. Alcohol and drugs do not make for a healthy lifestyle

Anonymous said...
May 24, 2007, 11:29:00 PM  

I hate that this man was killed in this accident but he is the one that chose to drink and drive. I do not believe that anyone is responsible for anyone else's actions. He was a grown man and could have said enough. Also where was the dad that he didn't teach him not to drink and drive????? I had two of my very good friends killed by a drunk a few months ago and have no sympathy for those that CHOOSE to drink and drive.

Anonymous said...
May 24, 2007, 11:46:00 PM  

This father really has messed up thinking. He is in shock but it is nobody's foult but his son's that he drank and drove.
But folkks don't blame the dad for not teaching his son right morals. Yes, he or his wife passed the gene to their son that causes alcoholism but it is a disease just like cancer or heart problems.
The father is wrong, wrong to be suing all those folks but it is still his son's fault that he is dead. He was an adult who made the wrong choices.

Anonymous said...
May 24, 2007, 11:49:00 PM  

It's really a sad event. As a Father I understand his remorse...but we are all responsible for our own actions..his son made an unfortunate choice..he could have easily paid for a cab...sorry but the lawsuit is typical in the U.S. blame someone else for your own actions...

Anonymous said...
May 24, 2007, 11:50:00 PM  

Sorry, but calling alcoholism a disease like cancer or heart problems is an insult to anyone suffering from them. Drunk driving is a CRIME, people! Sheesh! But of course, he couldn't control it; it's a disease. I'm glad they're putting breath-testing devices in cars now; I think it should be mandatory for some people.

Anonymous said...
May 25, 2007, 12:31:00 AM  

I believe that the father is wrong in trying to blame others for his son's bad decisions (to drive while intoxicated, to talk on a cell phone while driving, to take marijuana, etc.) Alcohol seems to be a real problem among many baseball players. Isn't it interesting that the Cardinal's manager was recently arrested for a DUI? Although I feel badly for the dad, I don't think he should blame the restaurant, nor the tow truck company. However, knowing the cost of legal services, the insurance companies of the restaurant and the tow truck company will make a sizeable settlement in order to cut their losses. The big winners are always the attorneys - a bunch of scumbags and leeches!

Anonymous said...
May 25, 2007, 12:52:00 AM  

the father is filing a greed centered, groundless lawsuit...he is reaching in who he is suing by naming the man whos vehicle broke down and blaming him, the tow truck operator on the road with yellow warning lights flashing for being out there in the middle of the night doing his job, the restaurant manager and owner for serving drinks so someone over 21 and fully capable of deciding to drink or not to drink...even though I have sympathy for the family the question needing to be asked is why was he drinkning knowing he had to drive home afterwards...he should have had a designated driver...therefore, the case should be thrown out with or without prejudice...

baddab said...
May 25, 2007, 1:29:00 AM  

please!!!i can't stand it when one person's actions are blamed on others. unless somebody in the restaurant walked out to hancock's car, started it for him and told him he had to drive home now then his father should just realize his son made the biggest mistake of his life and that is what it cost him.

Anonymous said...
May 25, 2007, 1:38:00 AM  

Just a tiny point of clarification: Hancock was late to the park that Thursday before, yes, but he was a relief pitcher. So far, the hungover part is still just a rumor, though it's more than likely true. Yeah, I know; it's semantics, but I'm a bit of a nitpicker. My apologies...
OK, with that out of the way... in case you didn't know, I'm a lifelong Cards fan, and this whole thing just reeks of bad judgment on everyone's part. Hancock was drunk, and is at fault here, and I hate that his father is doing this. I'm not sure if it was his idea, or if some civil attorney(there's a contradiction in terms if I ever saw one) got in his ear. Either way, I hope he decides to drop it, or maybe a judge will dismiss it. Shannon's already got enough on his plate with his wife suffering from cancer. This won't make his life any easier; that's for sure.

Bruce said...
May 25, 2007, 2:07:00 AM  

Is the restaurant responsible for how much they serve a guest? In most states the answer is yes!!! Can we always tell if a person is intoxicated? Not all the time!!!!!Are we resposible to stop him from driving his SUV? As restaurant operators we can ask him if he wants a cab called, but we can not physically restrain him from getting in his SUV and driving off.

Dad, I would be crushed if I lost my son or any family member tol a car crash. But My kids learned from a very early age that they did not drink and drive!!!! that there was always someone to call for a ride and there are plenty of cabs.

The father should get his family together and grieve mourn their loss, but I am sure the family lawyer told them they could make a lot of money from all those other people. What a great place we live in........where we never have to take personal responsibility for our actions.....don't believe me???? Go ask a lawyer.....he or she will tell you there is always someone else to push the blame on.

Anonymous said...
May 25, 2007, 2:24:00 AM  

Maybe Dad will also sue the drug dealer who sold him the pot? What a bunch of crap.

Anonymous said...
May 25, 2007, 2:31:00 AM  

A terrible tragedy, but if any family or friends read this, take heed from someone with experience. I've been a member of AA for nearly 2 decades and worked in restaurants for longer than that. Of course the family is heartbroken, but direct it to more productive channels. Alcohol and drug abuse is what kills here, not tow truck drivers, people who's cars die on the road or restauranteurs. If he was handed drinks, that means he probably wasn't purchasing them himself, the waitresses or bartenders aren't afforded the chance to survey his condition frequently as we teach our staff to do. It is totally common for bar patrons to stay for over 3 hours, a moot point. Did he start out drinking or smoking the pot he was found with before he arrived there? Was he anywhere else drinking?
The only difference between me and this young man is a terrible twist of fate, difference is I realized I had a problem and quit drinking at 23.
If you truly wish to honor the mans tragic passing, tie in with MADD or a similar organization. Frivolous lawsuits trying to lay blame for a 29 year olds behavior only dishonors his name, and sweeps the blame under the carpet, alcoholism and drug addiction. Alcoholism is not how much or often you drink, it's what happens to you when you do drink. In this case, drinking huge amounts of alcohol and driving is the result. Making this about redirecting blame or "percieved financial restitution" owed would be one more tragedy. You want to honor his good name? See to it that other families don't face the same terrible fate. Fight for sober driving, teach children to fear this like you teach them not to cross the street without looking both ways. If you know they drink too much or drink and drive EVER, INTERVENE! It's like all those people that knew Anna Nicole was wasted all the time but nobody checked her into treatment. Would you rather be unpopular with your friend or family member or attend their funeral because you didn't want them to be mad at you. My own family called the police on me and had me arrested when I was much younger than he was, I resented them then, and thank them for it today, each time I see my baby boys face, a face I never would have seen had they not stepped in.
God bless you in your time of sorrow. Make his passing mean something more than money and false accusations.

Anonymous said...
May 25, 2007, 2:32:00 AM  

If he wasn't drunk all would we fine. Dis bar the attorney and you can see the father is a drunk. I lived with one for many years. My dad.

Anonymous said...
May 25, 2007, 4:58:00 AM  

What better way to remember a son than t drag his name back through the mud after he was laid to rest. It is obvious that one of those 1-800 for a third lawyers got in his ear.(the dad). it needs to go no farther than here, no court should hear this.

Anonymous said...
May 25, 2007, 9:21:00 AM  

What is wrong with today's society? Why cant people take responsibility for their own actions instead of always looking to blame someone else? Any untimely death is a tradgedy and I feel for the anguish the Hancock family is experiencing. This, however, cannot be blamed on anyone other then the one drinking and driving.

Although I am sure this lawsuit will be dismissed against the tow truck driver and the stalled car's driver, it is sad they have to deal with this frivolous lawsuit.

The father, and people like him, make me sick!!!!!!! I am sorry for his loss, but am also sorry there are people like him walking around in this society.

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Jun 9, 2007, 9:18:00 AM  

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