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ChiefsFan4Life
05-24-2007, 05:29 PM
Check out this article: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/05/24/hancock.lawsuit.ap/index.html

Summary:
Hancock's father files suit
Restaurant, towing company, stalled car driver sued

Are you freakin kidding me? Is this not one of the most ridiculous things ever? How in god's name are you going to sue the tow truck driver and the guy with the STALLED car?

Look - it sucks the guy is dead, but he was DRIVING DRUNK. This lawsuit should be as quick as possible.

This makes me sick. What a pathetic father/family for doing this. Why don't they just face the fact their son was a complete drunk and brought this upon himself?

Rain Man
05-24-2007, 05:45 PM
An innocent father lost his gravy train. He wants it back.

ChiefsFan4Life
05-24-2007, 05:48 PM
An innocent father lost his gravy train. He wants it back.

The gravy was alcoholic. Too bad for him.

Rain Man
05-24-2007, 05:50 PM
The gravy was alcoholic. Too bad for him.

It was one of those cooking sherry gravies, I guess.

Spott
05-24-2007, 06:28 PM
I think he should sue Leonard Little for giving him the idea that he could drink and drive whenever he wants and get away with with it because he's a professional athlete in St Louis. Maybe he'll decide to sue Don Denkinger, too.

pr_capone
05-24-2007, 07:51 PM
Don't forget that the state of Missouri should be sued as well for allowing his son to have a drivers license and the manufacturer of Hancock's SUV for producing the vehicle.

Baconeater
05-24-2007, 07:55 PM
IIRC he was using a cell phone at the time of the accident as well, so put the cell phone provider and the manufacturer of the phone on the list as well.

Mr. Plow
05-24-2007, 08:20 PM
So many people to sue, so little time.

Car company for making the car.
Alcohol company for making the alcohol.
Alcohol distributor for getting the stuff to the bar.
State of Missouri for making the roads.
US Government for including Missouri as a state.
Planet Earth for including Missouri.

All I can say is this guy is about to get PAID!

Pierce
05-24-2007, 08:25 PM
You forgot the dinosaurs, because they used to roam around Missouri.

plbrdude
05-24-2007, 09:05 PM
30 pack everyday for life. that's fair payment.

Phobia
05-24-2007, 09:56 PM
So many people to sue, so little time.

Car company for making the car.
Alcohol company for making the alcohol.
Alcohol distributor for getting the stuff to the bar.
State of Missouri for making the roads.
US Government for including Missouri as a state.
Planet Earth for including Missouri.

All I can say is this guy is about to get PAID!

The only people getting paid on this are the lawyers.

JohnnyV13
05-24-2007, 10:18 PM
Actually Phil,

Hancock's family has a decent chance of getting an award. Yes, Hancock bears primary responsibility for his death. Yet, its pretty clear the restaurant was serving an obviously drunk guy. The restaurant could have refused to serve him or tried to call him a cab.

And a tow truck driver not putting out flares on a highway around a hazard is pretty negligent, especially for a guy in the business of towing cars.

Consequently, the family has a decent shot of getting a jury to believe that the restaurant and tow truck driver were about 15% at fault.

Under pure comparitive liability, that means they could get about 15% of a wrongful death award (which would be his remaining earning capacity). Those expected future earnings are likely to be quite big for a MLB player.

The case is also in St. Louis, a very favorable juristicition for plaintiffs if its tried in St. Louis county.

Phobia
05-24-2007, 10:26 PM
Actually Phil,

Hancock's family has a decent chance of getting an award. Yes, Hancock bears primary responsibility for his death. Yet, its pretty clear the restaurant was serving an obviously drunk guy. The restaurant could have refused to serve him or tried to call him a cab.

And a tow truck driver not putting out flares on a highway around a hazard is pretty negligent, especially for a guy in the business of towing cars.

Consequently, the family has a decent shot of getting a jury to believe that the restaurant and tow truck driver were about 15% at fault.

Under pure comparitive liability, that means they could get about 15% of a wrongful death award (which would be his remaining earning capacity). Those expected future earnings are likely to be quite big for a MLB player.

The case is also in St. Louis, a very favorable juristicition for plaintiffs if its tried in St. Louis county.
Awesome.

If I were on that jury, people would get hurt if they argued to give the family one cent. I probably shouldn't serve on juries. I don't exactly have an open mind always, especially with regard to frivolous lawsuits.

milkman
05-24-2007, 10:32 PM
Awesome.

If I were on that jury, people would get hurt if they argued to give the family one cent. I probably shouldn't serve on juries. I don't exactly have an open mind always, especially with regard to frivolous lawsuits.

If I were on that jury, I'd probably jump out of the jury box and kick dad's ass.

Then I'd have to hire a lawyer to defend me in the lawsuit dad brings against me.

pr_capone
05-24-2007, 10:59 PM
If I were on that jury, I'd probably jump out of the jury box and kick dad's ass.

Then I'd have to hire a lawyer to defend me in the lawsuit dad brings against me.

And the court would need one as well because they brought you in as a potential juror. :)

Ultra Peanut
05-24-2007, 11:02 PM
It was one of those cooking sherry gravies, I guess.You wouldn't be making jokes if he hadn't played for the Cardinals!

*sniffle*

Baconeater
05-24-2007, 11:06 PM
Actually Phil,

Hancock's family has a decent chance of getting an award. Yes, Hancock bears primary responsibility for his death. Yet, its pretty clear the restaurant was serving an obviously drunk guy. The restaurant could have refused to serve him or tried to call him a cab.

And a tow truck driver not putting out flares on a highway around a hazard is pretty negligent, especially for a guy in the business of towing cars.

Consequently, the family has a decent shot of getting a jury to believe that the restaurant and tow truck driver were about 15% at fault.

Under pure comparitive liability, that means they could get about 15% of a wrongful death award (which would be his remaining earning capacity). Those expected future earnings are likely to be quite big for a MLB player.

The case is also in St. Louis, a very favorable juristicition for plaintiffs if its tried in St. Louis county.
That is soooooo ****ed up. :shake: Dude was drunk, stoned and talking on his effing cell phone. Those three factors combined should be enough to absolve anyone else from any responsibility. He would've probably hit something else sooner or later. And since when are bartenders required to babysit people?

Mr. Plow
05-24-2007, 11:53 PM
Yet, its pretty clear the restaurant was serving an obviously drunk guy.

I've been obviously drunk in a lot of places and never once has someone tried to refuse to serve me. Maybe he should have known when to say
"I've had enough" and to stop drinking them.

Mr. Plow
05-24-2007, 11:55 PM
Dude was drunk, stoned and talking on his effing cell phone. Those three factors combined should be enough to absolve anyone else from any responsibility.


Bingo. Case closed. Go home. You don't get any money. You should feel lucky he didn't kill anyone else.

ENDelt260
05-25-2007, 01:21 AM
A few minutes after reading this story earlier today, I received the e-mail below. The first story is something equally disgusting, if not more. The second is the other side of lawsuits.

(broken over multiple posts for length constraints)

ENDelt260
05-25-2007, 01:21 AM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
True Stella Awards #80: 23 May 2007 www.StellaAwards.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOBODY WINS
by Jeffrey Anbinder

A few years ago, affected by the events of September 11, Robert
Hornbeck interrupted his psychology studies at the University of Michigan
to join the military. In January 2006, after a tour of duty in Iraq with
the 3rd Infantry (Bravo 269), Robert returned safely to Fort Benning in
Georgia.

On Easter weekend, his parents joined him in Savannah to reconnect
with him and celebrate the pending completion of his military service. He
planned to marry in July and return to school. His father, Eric, told him
he was happy he no longer had to worry about him. His son replied, "Dad,
nothing ever happens to me. I'm Superman."

Sadly, that was not true. On April 16, Robert was out drinking and
playing pool with Army buddy Jeremy Stone. When Stone decided they were
in no condition to make it home on their own from the Hilton Savannah
DeSoto Hotel, he called Eric Hornbeck, Robert's dad, to ask for a ride.
Robert apparently didn't think he needed help, though, and wandered off;
he was last seen near the hotel at around three in the morning. Eric
called his son's cell phone, but Robert simply said he was on the stairs,
and as Eric reported, "that was it." Over the next several days, an
extensive police and community search ensued; the family offered rewards,
and the usual false reports streamed in.

On April 28, hotel workers who had been trying to track down the
source of a foul odor discovered Robert's body inside a crawl space
containing air conditioning equipment. The police investigation
determined that Robert had crawled into the space, where the equipment's
moving parts first cut his arm open, then pinned him. He apparently
removed his pants to use them as a tourniquet for his arm, but it was not
enough, and he bled to death. His blood alcohol content was more than
twice the legal limit for driving at the time, though the exact count
wasn't reported.

It's a tragedy, to be sure. To compound the tragedy, in January 2007
the Hornbecks sued the hotel demanding $10 million over their son's
death, though from all appearances the accident was nobody's fault but
his.

The lawsuit alleges that "the defendants had a duty to maintain a safe
area in its hotel, and to place appropriate warning signs and maintain
locks on doors that led to its electric and air conditioning units." Yet
when Robert's body was found, Savannah police spokesman Mike Wilkins
pointed out, the service panel in question "had a big sign warning of
danger from mechanical parts inside." It's difficult to imagine what more
warning anyone could hope for.

The police report also says that to enter this crawl space, Robert had
to enter a mezzanine between the first and second floors, climb a metal
staircase in the hotel's maintenance area, and crouch to enter. In fact
it's such a tight space that the police had to call in Savannah Fire and
Emergency Services because of their training in difficult extrications.
This isn't just another public area of the hotel where you could
innocently wander off and find yourself trapped; Robert couldn't do it
working pretty hard at it.

But even if you could argue that the hotel was "a little bit"
responsible for what happened, the Hornbecks still cannot recover.
Georgia is a "modified comparative negligence" state, which means that a
plaintiff can only recover for his injuries if the defendant is found to
be more than 50 percent responsible. If the plaintiff is more than 50
percent responsible, he cannot recover any damages -- and it is very
difficult to read the facts of this case and imagine any jury finding
that Army Spc. Robert Hornbeck was not largely responsible for his own
death, however tragic.

So why are they suing?

Sometimes, a lawsuit isn't about collecting money; sometimes it's
about using the discovery process to learn the truth of what happened.
Perhaps that was the Hornbecks' motivaion here. But in this case, the
police investigation, the medical examiner's findings, and the limited
footage from security cameras have already provided all the answers we're
ever likely to have. You would have to have been there, watching the
events as they unfolded, to know what really took place, and the late
Robert Hornbeck is the only one who knows for sure.

The inevitable conclusion is one that we've seen many times before --
for far too many people, when their loved one dies, they cannot
comprehend that it might have been their loved one's fault. It "must be"
someone else's fault -- and that someone else must be made to pay.


SOURCES:

1) "Lawsuit Seeks $10m after Soldier Died at Hilton", Savannah Morning
News, 20 January 2007
http://StellaAwards.com/cgi-bin/redirect5.pl?80a

2) "American Hero Found Dead", Nancy Grace Show (transcript), CNN, 28
April 2006
http://StellaAwards.com/cgi-bin/redirect5.pl?80b

3) "Georgia State Tort Law Profile" (for info on modified comparative
negligence law)
http://www.legalreforminthenews.com/Tort%20Profiles/GA_Tort_Laws.html


-v-

ENDelt260
05-25-2007, 01:22 AM
CLOSURE AND CONCILIATION
by Jeffrey Anbinder

Lawsuits often end with the same venom and vitriol with which they're
fought. Usually, the losing side vows to appeal and vigorously denies
fault to the end. But not always: This one ended with the losing side
thanking the winner, and with a hug.

It's a horrible story, as many wrongful death lawsuits are. Brenda
Brown was passing the Town 'N Country Car Wash in Tampa, Fla., with her
18-month-old son Darnell in a stroller, when an Isuzu Rodeo barreled out
of the wash tunnel, out of control. She managed to push Darnell to
safety, but was killed by the SUV's impact, leaving her husband McNeil
"Mac" Brown to raise Darnell on his own. It's no surprise Mr. Brown chose
to sue for wrongful death.

In the resulting lawsuit's first surprise, the car wash admitted fault
on the eve of trial. Cars are supposed to be turned off in the tunnel,
but this one was still running. Employee Denzil Blake, who accidentally
knocked the SUV into gear, had no driver's license, and hit the
accelerator instead of the brake, not knowing the difference. (Florida
law allows unlicensed operators on private property.) Especially with a
surveillance tape showing the horrific accident among the evidence, you
might say it's no wonder the defendants admitted responsibility in order
to move directly to a trial on damages -- but it's rare enough that it
bears noting.

What's even rarer, though, is what happened next. The jury announced
their nearly $7.6 million verdict in compensatory damages, and the two
sides were about to begin arguments on a punitive award -- additional
damages designed to go beyond compensation and punish the negligence, in
the hopes of sending a message to a defendant and those similarly
situated. But plaintiff Mac Brown said enough was enough.

"This was never about the money," the widower said after the verdict,
announcing he was withdrawing his claim for punitive damages. "This was
always about the memory of an incredible woman." He added that his
decision is what Brenda would have wanted, that he simply wanted to
ensure that nobody else would ever "be hurt like this," and reaching the
punitive phase of the trial was enough to make it "clear to any other car
wash owner" that they must "do the right thing." In other words, rather
than go after every possible penny, he declared that the jury's $7.5
million award was enough, and refused any more. The jury would have been
generous.

It will be enough of a challenge for Mac to collect $7.5 million from
the car wash, whose insurance policy has a $2 million limit. But jurors
later reported having considered punitive damages in the tens of millions
of dollars.

Some jurors also commented on the class that Brown's decision showed,
but it was the defendants who appeared to be moved the most: Thomas and
Diane Lyons, former owners and operators of the car wash, approached
Brown to speak to him for the first time, and said they were sorry for
his loss. Then Diane hugged him and cried -- and Thomas thanked him,
saying, "That showed a lot of class."

Indeed it did. And what a precedent it sets for others, making Brown
the first-ever recipient of an Anti-Stella Award.


SOURCES:

1) "For Victim's Husband, Closure Tops Revenge", St. Petersburg Times, 27
January 2007
http://StellaAwards.com/cgi-bin/redirect5.pl?80c

2) "Man's Act of Forgiveness Stuns Jury, Honors Wife", Tampa Tribune, 27
January 2007 (no longer online)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeffrey Anbinder is an attorney and freelance writer in New York City.
He spent much of his third year at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
volunteering at the Innocence Project, where his work was instrumental in
helping to free a man who had been in prison for nearly 19 years for a
crime that DNA tests later proved he could not have committed. Mr.
Anbinder is hard at work on his first novel.

Ultra Peanut
05-25-2007, 03:38 AM
Well shit, Mac, I'll take the rest of the money if $7,500,000 is enough for you.

Pushead2
05-25-2007, 06:23 AM
If this family gets one cent because of thier son's STUPID , DRUNK and did I mention STUPID adventure into a F****** vent at a hotel this would be the biggest botch ever!!!!!!! :cuss: :cuss: :cuss:

JohnnyV13
05-25-2007, 01:35 PM
Of course,

We are only hearing about the plaintiff's side. The restaurant could have any number of defenses. For example, Hancock could have habitually ordered drinks for a lot of other people, so a large bar tab would not raise any red flags about his consumption. Or, Hancock could have told them that he wasn't driving or they asked if they could call him a cab and he refused.

Any of these actions would pretty much nullify their liability. Now the tow truck company is in a much worse position. Not putting flares around a highway road hazard at night is pretty negligent, and could certainly be a factor in the accident.

This case does raise an interesting point. I believe it might be a good idea if the Missouri legislature write a statute that a drunk driver waives any tort claim against other drivers simply by being on the road while intoxicated.

JohnnyV13
05-25-2007, 01:43 PM
I've been obviously drunk in a lot of places and never once has someone tried to refuse to serve me. Maybe he should have known when to say
"I've had enough" and to stop drinking them.


Plow, what would you think of the bar's actions if a guy got wasted in their establishment after winning a "shots til' you drop" contest, the owner personally helped him walk to his car because he was too drunk to stand and then watched as he drove off. The bar frequently holds "drinking contests", which increases the bar's nightly take to 3X normal.

The drunk driver then plows into you, killing your infant son. THe drunk driver has no insurance and is unemployed. What do you think of the bar's actions then?

THe problem here is tha bar is profiting from knowingly putting innocent 3rd parties at risk from their drunk patrons.

kc rush
05-25-2007, 02:03 PM
When this first happened I thought that I read that the restaurant had offered to call a cab.

Also, didn't the towtruck have his flashing lights on? The ones that look like police lights. Isn't that enough of a warning? I guess I could see needing flares if the stalled car was on the other side of a hill.

Sure-Oz
05-25-2007, 02:11 PM
The truth is he was drunk and hit innocent bystanders, what a dumbass father, grieve and move on

mikey23545
05-25-2007, 02:46 PM
Plow, what would you think of the bar's actions if a guy got wasted in their establishment after winning a "shots til' you drop" contest, the owner personally helped him walk to his car because he was too drunk to stand and then watched as he drove off. The bar frequently holds "drinking contests", which increases the bar's nightly take to 3X normal.

The drunk driver then plows into you, killing your infant son. THe drunk driver has no insurance and is unemployed. What do you think of the bar's actions then?

THe problem here is tha bar is profiting from knowingly putting innocent 3rd parties at risk from their drunk patrons.

Are you suggesting that he was in a drinking contest that night and the bar owner walked him to his car? If not, then what the **** was all that stupid babbling about?

Chief Chief
05-25-2007, 03:32 PM
"...to know what really took place...the late Roger Hornbeck is the only one who knows for sure."

I seriously doubt that a %#<&-faced drunk would have any idea what the ^?&+ he was doing for sure.

JohnnyV13
05-25-2007, 03:33 PM
Are you suggesting that he was in a drinking contest that night and the bar owner walked him to his car? If not, then what the **** was all that stupid babbling about?


No,

Its called a hypothetical. Its a situation designed to test the idea that "bars/restaurants shouldn't bear any responsibility for serving drunk people". A lot of people seem to have problems with the idea that a bar should have some responsibility. That doesn't mean a bar/restaurant is guilty every time someone gets drunk and drives. What it does mean is they have to take reasonable action to stop that behavior.

Certainly there are a number of emotionally manufactured elements. For example I have an "infant death", which creates an emotional bias. I also had a fact situation that left no room to argue the bar owner wasn't aware or left no way for the victim to be at fault.

The line at the end is the basic principle that drives the liability of bar/restaurants with respect to drunk people. Basically, if there is no financial deterrent to creating drunk drivers, then profit maximization would lead bars to do everything they could to make sure EVERYONE drives home wasted.

The "personal responsiblity" crowd would entirely blame the drunk. While certainly this view has some merit in terms of governing your own behavior, its sort of like saying that because the mark in a con game is stupid, then we shouldn't punish the con artist.

That view would simply encourage people to run con games.